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top, f 1.35 mt. Postage, 10 cents. 

KWAIDAN : Storiei and Studies of Strange Things. 
With two Japanese Illustrations, xamo, gilt top, 

top, $1.25. 

KOKORO. Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner 
Life. x6mo, gilt top, #1.35. 

OUT OF THE EAST. Reveries and Studies in 
New Japan. i6nio, $1.25. 

crown 8vo, gilt top, ^.oa 

TURE, xtaio, #1.50. 

Boston and Nbw Yokk 






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JUNE 2, 1937 

OepgnrlflAi IMS, 

AH righU reterved. 


JLHE papers composing this volume treat 
of the imier rather than of the outer life of 
Japan, — for which reason they have been 
grouped under the title Kohoro (heart). 
Written with the above character, this word 
signifies also mind, in the emotional sense; 
spirit; courage; resolve; sentiment; affec- 
tion; and inner meaning, — just as we say in 
English, '' the heart of things." 

KoBlE, September 15, 1895b 

Darvart) CoUcdc Xibrars 


• •• •TA^^ • • • ^W»^fr«^l^^ • rflTlT* ^^* • • • •^r»^¥« • 


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and escaped. Nothing more was heard of him 
mitil last week. 

Then a Kumamoto detective, happening to 
visit the Fukuoka prison, saw among the 
toilers a face that had been four years pho- 
tographed upon his brain. *'Who is that 
man? " he asked the guard. "A thief," was 
the reply, — "registered here as Kusabe." 
The detective walked up to the prisoner and 
said: — 

"Kusab^ is not your name. Nomura 
Teichi, you are needed in Kumamoto for mur- 
der." The felon confessed all. 

I went with a great throng of people to wit- 
ness the arrival at the station. I expected to 
hear and see anger; I even feared possibilities 
of violence. The murdered officer had been 
much liked; his relatives would certainly be 
among the spectators; and a Kumamoto crowd 
is not very gentle. I also thought to find 
many police on duty. My anticipations were 

The train halted in the usual scene of hurry 
and noise, — scurry and clatter of passengers 
wearing geta, — screaming of boys wanting 


to sell Japanese newspapers and Kmnamoto 
lemonade. Outside the barrier we waited for 
nearly five minutes. Then, pushed through 
the wicket by a police-sergeant, the prisoner 
appeared, — a large wild-looking man, with 
head bowed down, and arms fastened behind 
his back. Prisoner and guard both halted in 
front of the wicket; and the people pressed 
forward to see — but in silence. Then the 
officer called out, — 

^^Sugihara San I Sugihara 0-KibiI is she 

A slight small woman standing near me, 
with a child on her back, answered, ^^HaiP^ 
and advanced through the press. This was 
the widow of the murdered man; the child 
she carried was his son. At a wave of the 
officer's hand the crowd fell back, so as to 
leave a clear space about the prisoner and 
his escort. In that space the woman with 
the child stood facing the murderer. The 
hush was of death. 

Not to the woman at all, but to the child 
only, did the officer then speak. He spoke 
low, but so clearly that I could catch every 
eyll&ble: — 


*' Little one, this is the man who killed your 
father four years ago. You had not yet been 
bom ; you were in your mother's womb. That 
you have no father to love you now is the 
doing of this man. Look at him — [here the 
officfr^putting a hand to the prisoner's chin, 
sternly forced him to lift his eyes] — look 
well at him, little boy ! Do not be afraid. It 
is painful; but it is your duty. Look at 

Over the mother's shoulder the boy gazed 
with eyes widely open, as in fear; then he 
began to sob ; then tears came ; but steadily 
and obediently he still looked — looked — 
looked — straight into the cringing face. 

The crowd seemed to have stopped breath- 

I saw the prisoner's features distort ; I saw 
him suddenly dash himself down upon his 
knees despite his fetters, and beat his face 
into the dust, crying out the while in a pas- 
sion of hoarse remorse that made one's heart 
shake : — 

*^ Pardon! pardon! pardon me, little one! 
That I did — not for hate was it done, but in 
mad fear only, in my desire to escape. Very, 


verj wicked I Iiave been; great unspeakable 
wrong have I done you! But now for my sin 
I go to die. I wish to die; I am glad to die! 
Therefore, O little one, be pitiful! — forgive 

The child still cried silently. The officer 
raised the shaking criminal; the dumb crowd 
parted left and right to let them by. Then, 
quite suddenly, the whole multitude began to 
sob. And as the bronzed guardian passed. I 
saw what I had never seen before, — what few 
men ever see, — what I shall probably never 
see again, — the tears of a Japanese police- 

The crowd ebbed, and left me musing on 
the strange morality of the spectacle. Here 
was justice unswerving yet compassionate,- 
forcing knowledge of a crime by the pathetic 
witness of its simplest result. Here was des- 
perate remorse, praying only for pardon be- 
fore death. And here was a populace — per- 
haps the most dangerous in the Empire when 
angered — comprehending all, touched by all, 
satisfied with the contrition and the shame, 
and filled, not with wrath, but only with the 


great sorrow of the sin, — through simple 
deep experience of the difficulties of life and 
the weaknesses of human nature. 

But the most significant, because the most 
Oriental, fact of the episode was that the ap- 
peal to remorse had been made through the 
criminal's sense of fatherhood, — that poten- 
tial love of children which is so large a part 
of the soul of every Japanese. 

There is a story that the most famous of all 
Japanese robbers, Ishikawa Goemon, once by 
night entering a house to kill and steal, was 
charmed by the smile of a baby which reached 
out hands to him, and that he remained play- 
ing with the little creature imtil all chance of 
carrying out his purpose was lost. 

It is not hard to believe this story. Every 
year the police records tell of compassion 
shown to children by professional criminals. 
Some months ago a terrible murder case was 
reported in the local papers, — the slaughter 
of a household by robbers. Seven persons 
had been literally hewn to pieces while asleep; 
but the police discovered a little boy quite 


unharmed, ciying alone in a pool of blood ; 
and they found evidence unmistakable that 
the men who slew must have taken great care 
not to hurt the child. 



Without losing a single sHp or a single 
battle, Japan has broken down the power of 
China, made a new Korea, enlarged her own 
territory, and changed the whole political face 
of the East. Astonishing as this has seemed 
politically, it is much more astonishing psy- 
chologically; for it represents the result of a 
vast play of capacities with which the race 
had never been credited abroad, — capacities 
of a very high order. The psychologist knows 
that the so-called ^^ adoption of Western civil- 
ization" within a time of thirty years can- 
not mean the addition to the Japanese brain 
of any organs or powers previously absent 
from it. He knows that it cannot mean any 
sudden change in the mental or moral char- 
acter of the race. Such changes are not made 
in a generation. Transmitted civilization 


workB mncli more slowly, requiring even bun- 
dreds of years to produce certain permanent 
psychological results. 

It is in this light that Japan appears the 
most extraordinary country in the world; and 
the most wonderful thing in the whole episode 
of her ^'Occidentalization" is that the race 
brain could bear so heavy a shock. Never- 
theless, though the fact be imique in human 
history, what does it really mean? Nothing 
more than rearrangement of a part of the pre- 
existing machinery of thought. Even that, 
for tiiousands of brave young minds, was 
death. The adoption of Western civilization 
was not nearly such an easy matter as un- 
thinking persons imagined. And it is quite 
evident that the mental readjustments, ef- 
fected at a cost which remains to be told, have 
given good results only along directions in 
which the race had always shown capacities 
of special kinds. Thus, the appliances of 
Western industrial invention have worked ad- 
mirably in Japanese hands, — have produced 
excellent results in those crafts at which the 
nation had been skillful, in other and quainter 
ways, for ages. There has been no transfer* 


mation, — nothing more than the taming of 
old abilities into new and larger channels. 
The scientific professions tell the same story. 
For certain forms of science, such as medicine, 
surgery (there are no better surgeons in the 
world than the Japanese), chemistry, micro- 
scopy, the Japanese genius is naturally 
adapted; and in all these it has done work 
already heard of round the world. In war 
and statecraft it has shown wonderful power; 
but throughout their history the Japanese 
have been characterized by great military and 
political capacity. Nothing remarkable has 
been done, however, in directions foreign to 
the national genius. In the study, for exam- 
ple, of Western music. Western art. Western 
literature, time would seem to have been sim* 
ply wasted.^ These things make appeal ex- 

^ In one limited sense, Western art has inflnenoed Japa- 
nese literature and drama ; bnt the character of the influ- 
ence proves the racial differences to which I refer. European 
plays haye been reshaped for the Japanese stage, and Euro- 
pean noyels rewritten for Japanese readers. But a literal 
version is rarely attempted; for the original incidents, 
thoughts, and emotions would be unintelligible to the ayer- 
age reader or play-goer. Plots are adopted ; sentiments and 
iaoidenti are totally transformed. '* The New Magdalen " 


traoxdinary to emotional life with us; they 
make no such appeal to Japanese emotional 
life. Every serious thinker knows that emo- 
tional transformation of the individual through 
education is impossible. To imagine that the 
emotional character of an Oriental race could 
be transformed in the short space of thirty 
years, by the contact of Occidental ideas, is 
absurd. Emotional life, which is older than 
intellectual life, and deeper, can no more be 
altered suddenly by a change of milieu than 
the surface of a mirror can be changed by 
passing reflections. All that Japan has been 
able to do so miraculously well has been done 
without any self -transformation; and those 
who imagine her emotionally closer to us 
to-day than she may have been thirty years 
ago ignore facts of science which admit of no 

Sympathy is limited by comprehension. 
We may sympathize to the same degree that 

becomes a Japanese girl who married an Eta. Victor 
Hugo's Les Miairailes becomes a tale of the Japanese civil 
war ; and Enjolras a Japanese student. There haye been 
a few rare exceptions, including the marked success of a 
literal translation of the Somwt of Werther, 


we understand. One may imagine that lie 
sympathizes with a Japanese or a Chinese; 
but the sympathy can never be real to more 
than a smaU extent outside of the simplest 
phases of common emotional life, — those 
phases in which child and man are at one. 
The more complex feelings of the Oriental 
have been composed by combinations of expe- 
riences, ancestral and individual, which have 
had no really precise correspondence in West- 
em life, and which we ean therefore not fully 
know. For converse reasons, the Japanese 
cannot, even though they would, give Euro- 
peans their best sympathy. 

But while it remains impossible for the man 
of the West to discern the true color of Jap- 
anese life, eithei^ intellectual or emotional 
(since the one is woven into the other), it is 
equally impossible for him to escape the 
conviction that, compared with his own, it 
is very small. It is dainty; it holds delicate 
potentialities of rarest interest and value; but 
it is otherwise so small that Western life, by 
contrast with it, seems almost supernatural. 
For we must judge visible and measurable 
manifestations. So judging, what a contrast 


between the emotional and intellectnal worlds 
of West and East! Far less striking that 
between the frail wooden streets of the Japan- 
ese capital and the tremendous solidity of a 
thoroughfare in Paris or London. When one 
compares the utterances which West and East 
have given to their dreams, their aspirations, 
their sensations, — a Gothic cathedral with a 
Shintp temple, an opera by Verdi or a trilogy 
by Wagner with a performance of geisha^ a 
European epic with a Japanese poem, — how 
incalculable the difference in emotional vol- 
ume, in imaginative power, in artistic synthe- 
sis t True, our music is an essentially modem 
art; but in looking back through all our past 
the difference in creative force is scarcely less 
marked, — not surely in the period of Soman 
magnificence, of marble amphitheatres and of 
aqueducts spanning provinces, nor in the 
Greek period of the divine in sculpture and 
of the supreme in literature. 

And this leads to the subject of another 
wonderful fact in the sudden development of 
Japanese power. Where are the outward 
taaterial signs of that immense new force she 


has been showing both in productivity and in 
war? Nowhere t That which we miss in her 
emotional and intellectual life is missing also 
from her industrial and commercial life, — 
largeness I The hmd remains what it waa 
before; its face has scarcely been modified by 
all the changes of Meiji. The miniature 
railways and telegraph poles, the bridges and 
tunnels, might almost escape notice in the 
ancient green of the landscapes. In all the 
cities, with the exception of the open ports and 
their little foreign settlements, there exists 
hardly a street vista suggesting the teaching 
of Western ideas. You might journey two 
hundred miles through the interior of the 
coimtry, looking in vain for large manifesta- 
tions of the new civilization. In no place do 
you find commerce exhibiting its ambition in 
gigantic warehouses, or industry expanding 
its machinery under acres of roofing. A Jap- 
anese ciiy is stiU, as it was ten centuries ago, 
Uttle more than a wilderness of wooden sheds, 
-picturesque, indeed, as paper lanterns are, 
but scarcely less frail. And there is no great 
stir and noise anywhere,— no heavy traffic, 
no booming and rumbling, no furious haste. 


In Toky5 itself you may enjoy, if you wish, 
the peace of a country village. This want of 
visible or audible signs of the new-found force 
which is now menacing the markets of the 
West and changing the maps of the far East 
gives one a queer, I might even say a weird 
feeling. It is ahnost the sensation received 
when, after climbing through miles of silence 
to reach some Shinto shrine, you find voidness 
only and solitude, — an elfish, empty little 
wooden structure, mouldering in shadows a 
thousand years old. The strength of Japan, 
l&e the strength of her ancient faith, needs 
little material display: both exist where the 
deepest real power of any great people exists, 
— in the Bace Ghosts 


As I muse, the remembrance of a great city 
comes back to me, — a city walled up to the 
8kyand roaring like the sea. The memory of 
that roar returns first; then the vision defines; 
a chasm, which is a street, between mountains, 
which are houses. I am tired, because I have 
walked many miles between those precipices 


jfi masonry, and have trodden no eartih, — < 
only slabs of rock, — and have heard nothing 
but thunder of tumult. Deep below those 
huge pavements I know there is a cavernous ' 
world tremendous: systems imderlying sys- 
terns of ways contrived for water and steam 
and fire. On either hand tower fa9ades 
pierced by scoifes of tiers of windows, -cKffs 
of architecture shutting out the sim. Above, 
the pale blue streak of sky is cut by a maze 
of spidery lines, — an infinite cobweb of elec- 
tric wires. In that block on the right there 
dweU nine thousand souls; the tenants of the 
edifice facing it pay the annual rent of a 
million dollars. Seven millions scarcely cov- 
ered the cost of those bulks overshadowing 
the square beyond, — and there are miles of 
such. Stairways of steel and cement, of brass 
and stone, with costliest balustrades, ascend 
through the decades and double-decades of 
stories; but no foot treads them. By water- 
power, by steam, by electricity, men go up 
and down ; the heights are too dizzy, the dis- 
tances too great, for the use of the limbs. 
My friend who pays rent of five thousand dol- 
lars for his rooms in the fourteenth story of a 


monstrosity not far off has never trodden hii 
stairway. I am walking for curiosity alone; 
with a serious purpose I should not walk: 
the spaces are too broad, the time is too pre' 
cious, for such slow exertion,— men travel 
from district to district, from house to office, 
by steam. Heights are too great for the voice 
to traverse; orders are given and obeyed by 
machinery. By electricity far-away doors are 
opened; with one touch a hundred rooms 
are lighted or heated. 

And all this enormity is hard, grim, dumb; 
it is the enormity of mathematical power ap- 
plied to utilitarian ends of solidity and dura- 
bility. These leagues of palaces, of ware- 
houses, of business structures, of buildings 
describable and indescribable, are not beauti- 
ful, but sinister. One feels depressed by the 
mere sensation of the enormous life which 
created them, life without sympathy; of their 
prodigious manifestation of power, power with- 
out pity. They are the architectural utter- 
ance of the new industrial age. And there is 
no halt in the thunder of wheels, in the storm- 
ing of hoofs and of human feet. To ask a 
question, one must shout into the ear of the 


questioned; to see, to understand, to move in 
that high-pressure medium, needs experience. 
The unaoeustomed feels the sensation of being 
in a panic, in a tempest, in a cyclone. Yet 
all this is order. 

The monster streets leap rivers, span sea- 
ways, with bridges of stone, bridges of steel. 
Far as the eye can reach, a bewilderment of 
masto, a web-work of rigging, conceals the 
BhoTOB, wluch are cliffs of masonry. Trees 

forest mingle less closely, than the masts and 
spars of that immeasurable maze. Yet all is 


Generally speaking, we construct for endur- 
ance, the Japanese for impermanency. Few 
thin£:s for common use are made in Japan 

worn out and replaced at each stage of a 
journey; the robe consisting of a few simple 
widths loosely stitched together for wearing, 
and unstitched again for washing; the fresh 
ehopsticks served to each new guest at a hotel; 


tiie light shidji frames serving at once for win- 
dows and walls, and repapered twice a year; 
the mattings renewed every autumn, — iCll 
these are but random examples of countless 
small things in daily life that illustrate the 
national contentment with impermanency. 

What is the stoiy of a conmion Japanese 
dwelling? Leaving my home in the morning, 
I observe, as I pass the comer of the next 
street crossing mine, some men setting up 
bamboo poles on a vacant lot there. Retum* 
ing after five hours' absence, I find on the 
same lot the skeleton of a two-stoiy house. 
Next forenoon I see that the walls are nearly 
finished already, — mud and wattles. By sun- 
down the roof has been completely tiled. On 
the following morning I observe that the 
mattings have been put down, and the inside 
plastering has been finished.^ In five days 
the house is completed. This, of course, is a 
cheap building; a fine one would take much 
longer to put up and finish. But Japanese 
cities are for the most part composed of such 
common buildings. They are as cheap as 
they are simple. 



I cannot now remember where I first met 
with the observation that the curve of the 
Chinese roof might preserve the memory of 
the nomad tent. The idea haunted me long 
after I had ungratef uUy forgotten the book 
in which I found it; and when I first saw, in 
Izumo, the singular structure of the old Shinto 
temples, with queer cross-projections at their 
gable-ends and upon their roof-ridges, the 
suggestion of the forgotten essayist about the 
possible origin of much less ancient forms re- 
turned to me with great force. But there is 
much in Japan besides primitive architectural 
traditions to indicate a nomadic ancestry for 
the race. Always and everywhere there is a 
total absence of what we would call solidity; 
and the characteristics of impermanence seem 
to mark ahnost everything in the exterior life 
of the people, except, indeed, the immemorial 
costume of the peasant and the shape of the 
implements of his toil. Not to dwell upon 
the fact that even during the comparatively 
brief period of her written history Japan has 
had more than sixty capitals, of which the 
greater number have completely disappeared, 
it may be broadly stated that every Japanese 


^ty is rebuilt within the time of a generation. 
Some temples and a few colossal fortresses 
offer exceptions; but, as a general role, the 
Japanese city changes its substance, if not its 
form, in the lifetime of a man. Fires, earth- 
quakes, and many other causes partly account 
for this; the chief reason, however, is that 
houses are not built to last. The common 
people have no ancestral homes. The dearest 
spot to all is, not the place of birth, but the 
place of burial; and there is little that is per- 
manent save the resting-places of the dead 
and the sites of the ancient shrines. 

The land itself is a land of impermanence. 
Bivers shift their courses, coasts their outline, 
plains their level; volcanic peaks heighten or 
crumble; valleys are blocked by lava-floods 
or landslides; lakes appear and disappear. 
Even the matchless shape of Fuji, that snowy 
miracle which has been the inspiration of 
artists for centuries, is said to have been 
slightly changed since my advent to the coun- 
try; and not a few other mountains have in 
the same short time taken totally new forms. 
Only the general lines of the land, the general 
aspects of its nature, the general character 


of the seasons, remain fixed. Even the very 
beauty of the landscapes is largely illusive, — « 
a beauty of shifting colors and moving mists. 
Only he to whom those landscapes are famil* 
iar can know how their mountain vapors make 
mockery of real chan&^es which have been, and 
gh«fl,%io«o» /.*» ota^ yet to U, 
in the history of the archipelago. 

The gods, indeed, remain, — haimt their 
homes upon the hills, diffuse a soft religious 
awe through the twilight of their groves, 
perhaps because they are without form and 
substance. Their shrines seldom pass utterly 
into oblivion, like the dwellings of men. But 
every Shinto temple is necessarily rebuilt at 
more or less brief intervals; and the holiest, 
— the shrine of Is^, — in obedience to imme- 
morial custom, must be demoUshed every 
twenty years, and its timbers cut into thou- 
sands of tiny charms, which are distributed to 

From Aryan India, through China, came 
Buddhism, with its vast doctrine of imperma- 
nency. The builders of the first Buddhist 
temples in Japan — architects of another race 


-—built well: witness the Chinese stmctnres 
at Kamaknra that have snryived so many cen- 
turies, while of the great city which once snr- 
ronnded them not a trace remains. But the 
psychical influence of Buddhism could in no 
land impel minds to the love of material sta- 
bility. The teaching that the universe is an 
illusion; that life is but one momentary halt 
upon an infinite journey; that all attachment 
to persons, to places, or to things must be 
fraught with sorrow; that only through sup- 
pression of every desire — even the desire of 
Nirvana itself — can humanity reach the eter- 
nal peace, eerily harmoni^ with the older 
racial feeling. Though the people never much 
occupied themselves with the profoimder phi- 
losophy of the foreign faith, its doctrine of 
impermanency must, in course of time, have 
profoundly influenced national character. It 
explained and consoled; it imparted new ca- 
pacity to bear all things bravely; it strength- 
ened that patience which is a trait of the race. 
Even in Japanese art — developed, if not 
actually created, imder Buddhist influence — 
the doctrine of impermanency has left its 
traces. Buddhism taught that nature was a 


dream, an illusion, a phantasmagoria; but it 
also taught men how to seize the fleeting im- 
pressions of that dream, and how to interpret 
them in relation to the highest truth. And 
they learned well. In the flushed splendor of 
the blossom-bursts of spring, in tl coming 
and the going of the cicada, in the dying 
crimson of autumn foliage, in the ghostly 
beauty of snow, in the delusive motion of 
wave or cloud, they saw old parables of per- 
petual meaning. Even their calamities — 
fire, flood, earthquake, pestilence — inter- 
preted to them imceasingly the doctrine of the 
eternal Vanishing. 

All things which exist in lime must perish. 
Hie forests^ the mxmntainsy — all things thus 
exist. In Tims are horn all things having 

The Sun and Moon^ Sakra himself, with 
all the multitude of his attendants, will all, 
without exception, perish; there is not one 
that will endure. 

In the beginning things were fixed; in the 
end again they separate: different combina- 
tions cause other substance ; for in nature 
ikere is no uniform and constant principle. 


AU component things must grow old ; im- 
permanent are all component things. Even 
unto a grain of aesamum seed there is n/o sv^h 
thing as a compound which is permanent. 
All are transient; all have the inherent qual- 
ity of dissolution. 

All component things^ without exception^ 
are impermanent^ unstable^ despicable^ sure 
to depart^ disintegrating ; all are temporary 
as a mirage^ as a phantom^ or as foam. . . • 
Even as all earthen vessels made by the potter 
end in being broken, so end the lives of men. 

And a belief in matter itself is unmentionf* 
able and inexpressible^ — it is neither a thiny 
nor no-thing : and this is hnxnxm even by chU^ 
dren and ignorant persons. 


Now it is worth while to inquire if there be 
not some compensatory value attaching to this 
impermanency and this smallness in the na- 
tional life. 

Nothing is more characteristic of that life 
than its extreme fluidity. The Japanese popu* 


lation represents a medium whose particles are 
in perpetual circnlation. The motion is m 
itself peculiar. It is larger and more eccen- 
tric than the motion of Occidental popula- 
tions, though feebler between points. It is 
also much more natural, — so natural that it 
could not exist in Western civilization. The 
relative mobility of a European population 
and the Japanese population might be ex- 
pressed by a comparison between certain high 
velocities of vibration and certain low ones. 
But the high velocities would represent, in 
such a comparison, the consequence of artifi- 
cial force applied; the slower vibrations would 
not. And this difference of kind would mean 
more than surface indications could announce. 
In one sense, Americai»s may be right in 
thinking themselves great travelers. In an- 
other, they are certainly wrong; the man of 
the people in America cannot compare, as a 
traveler, with the man of the people in Japan. 
And of course, in considering relative mobility 
of populations, one must consider chiefly the 
great masses, the workers, — not merely the 
small class of wealth. In their own country, 
the Japanese are the greatest travelers of any 


oiyilized people. They are the greatest trav- 
elers because, even in a land composed mainly 
of moimtain chains, they recognize no obsta- 
cles to travel. The Japanese who travels 
most is not the man who needs railways or 
steamers to carry him. 

Now, with us, the common worker is in- 
comparably less free than the common worker 
in Japan. He is less free because of the more 
complicated mechanism of Occidental socie- 
ties, whose forces tend to agglomeration and 
solid integration. He is less free because the 
social and industrial machinery on which he 
must depend reshapes him to S own paxticu- 
lar requirements, and always so as to evolve 
some special and artificial capacity at the cost 
of other inherent capacity. He is less free 
because he must live at a standard making it 
impossible for him to win financial independ- 
ence by mere thrift. To achieve any such in- 
dependence, he must possess exceptional char- 
acter and exceptional faculties greater than 
those of thousands of exceptional competitors 
equally eager to escape from the same thrall- 
dom. In brief, then, he is less independent 
because the special character of his civili- 


zation numbs his natural power to live with« 
out the help of machinery or large capital. 
To live thus artificially means to lose, sooner 
or later, the power of independent movement. 
Before a Western man can move he has many 
things to consider. Before a Japanese moves 
he has nothing to consider. He simply leaves 
the place he dislikes, and goes to the place he 
wishes, without any trouble. There is nothing 
to prevent him. Poverty is not an obstacle, 
but a stimulus. Impedimenta he has none, 
or only such as he can dispose of in a few 
minutes. Distances have no significance for 
him. Nature has given him perfect feet that 
can spring him over fifty miles a day without 
pain; a stomach whose chemistry can extract 
ample nourishment from food on which no 
European could live; and a constitution that 
scorns heat, cold, and damp alike, because 
still unimpaired by unhealthy clothing, by 
superfluous comforts, by the habit of seeking 
warmth &om grates and stoves, and by the 
habit of wearing leather shoes. 

It seems to me that the character of our 
foolgear signifies more than is commonly sup- 
posed. The footgear represents in itself a 


check upon individual freedom. It signifies 
this even in costliness; but in form it signifies 
infinitely more. It has distorted the Western 
foot out of the original shape, and rendered it 
incapable of the work for which it was evolyed. 
The physical results are not limited to the 
foot. Whatever acts as a check, directly or 
indireddy, upon tl.e organs of locomotion mnst 
extend its effects to the whole physical consti- 
tution. Does the evil stop even there? Per- 
haps we submit to conventions the most ab- 
surd of any existing in any civilization because 
we have too long submitted to the tyranny of 
shoemakers. There may be defects in our 
politics, in our social ethics, in our religious 
system, more or less related to the habit of 
wearing leather shoes. Submission to the 
cramping of the body must certainly aid in 
developing submission to the cramping of the 

The Japanese man of the people — the 
skilled laborer able to underbid without effort 
any Western artisan in the same line of in- 

shoemakers and tailors. His feet are good to 
look at, his body is healthy, and his heart is 


free. If he desire to travel a thousand miles, 
he oan get ready for his journey in five min- 
utes. His whole outfit need not cost seventy- 
five cents; and all his baggage can be put into 
a handkerchief. On ten dollars he can travel 
for a year without work, or he can travel sim- 
ply on his ability to work, or he can travel as 
a pilgrim. You may reply that any savage 
can do the same thing. Yes, but any civilized 
man cannot; and the Japanese has been a 
highly civilized man for at least a thousand 
years. Hence his present capacity to threaten 
Western manufacturers. 

We have been too much accustomed to asso- 
ciate this kind of independent mobiHty with 
the life of our own beggars and tramps, to 
have any just conception of its intrinsic mean- 
ing. We have thought of it also in connec- 
tion with impleasant things, — uncleanliness 
and bad smells. But, as Professor Chamber- 
lain has well said, ^^a Japanese crowd is the 
sweetest in the world." Your Japanese tramp 
takes his hot bath daily, if he has a fraction 
of a cent to pay for it, or his cold bath, if he 
has not. In his little bundle there are combs, 
toothpicks, razors, toothbrushes. He never 


allowB himself to become unpleasant. Beach- 
ing his destination, he can transform himself 
into a visitor of very nice manners, and fault- 
less though simple attire.^ 

Ability to live without furniture, without 
impedimenta, with the least possible amount 
of neat clothing, shows more than the advan- 
tage held by this Japanese race in the strug- 
gle of life; it shows also the real character of 
some weaknesses in our own civilization. It 
forces reflection upon the useless multiplicity 
of our daily wants. We must have meat and 
bread and butter; glass windows and fire; 
hats, white shirts, and woolen underwear; 
boots and shoes; trunks, bags, and boxes; 
bedsteads, mattresses, sheets, and blankets: 
all of which a Japanese can do without, and 
is really better off without. Think for a mo- 

^ Critics have tried to make fun of Sir Edwin Arnold's 
remark that a Japanese crowd smells like a geranimn- 
flower. Tet the simile is exact ! The perfume called jaX:o, 
when sparingly used, might easily be taken for the odor of 
a mnsk-geraninm. In almost any Japanese assembly in- 
elnding women a slight perfume of jako is discemible ; for 
the robes worn haye been laid in drawers containing a few 
grains of jako. Except for this delicate scent, a Japanese 
crowd is absolntely odorless. 


ment how important an article of Occidental 
attire is the single costly item of white shirts! 
Yet even the linen shirt, the so-called ^^ badge 
of a gentleman," is in itself a useless garment. 
It gives neither warmth nor comfort. It rep- 
resents in our fashions the survival of some- 
thing once a luxurious class distinction, but 
to-day meaningless and useless as the buttons 
sewn on the outside of coat-sleeves. 

The absence of any huge signs of the really 
huge things that Japan has done bears witness 
to the very peculiar way in which her civili- 
zation has been working. It cannot forever 
so work; but it has so worked thus far with 
amazing success. Japan is producing without 
capital, in our large sense of the word. She 
has become industrial without becoming es- 
sentially mechanical and artificial. The vast 
rice crop is raised upon millions of tiny, tiny 
farms; the silk crop, in millions of small poor 
homes; the tea crop, on countless little patches 
of soil. If you visit Kyoto to order some- 
thing from one of the greatest porcelain 


makers in the world, one whose products are 
known better in London and in Paris than 
even in Japan, you will find the factory to 
be a wooden cottage in which no American 
farmer would live. The greatest maker of 
cloisonne vases, who may ask you two him* 
dred dollars for something five inches high, 
produces his miracles behind a two-story frame 
dwelling containing perhaps six small rooms. 
The best girdles of silk made in Japan, and 
famous throughout the Empire, are woven in 
a house that cost scarcely five hundred dollars 
to build. The work is, of course, hand- 
woven. But the factories weaving by machin- 
ery—and weaving so weU as to ruin foreign 
industries of far vaster capacity — are hardly 
more imposing, with very few exceptions. 
Long, light, low one-story or two-story sheds 
they are, about as costly to erect as a row of 
wooden stables with us. Yet sheds like these 
turn out silks that sell all round the world. 
Sometimes only by inquiry, or by the hum- 
ming of the machine^, 7an you distinguish 
a factory from an old yashiki^ or an old- 
fashioned Japanese school building, — unless 
indeed you can read the Chinese characters 


over the garden gate. Some big brick facto* 
ries and breweries exist; but they are very few, 
and even when close to the foreign settlements 
they seem incongruities in the landscape. 

Our own architectural monstrosities and our 
Babels of machinery have been brought into 
existence by vast integrations of industrial 
capital. But such integrations do not exist 
in the Far East; indeed, the capital to make 
them does not exist. And supposing that in 
the course of a few generations there should 
form in Japan corresponding combinations of 
money power, it is not easy to suppose cor- 
respondences in architectural construction. 
Even two-story edifices of brick have given 
bad results in the leading commercial centre; 
and earthquakes seem to condemn Japan to 
perpetual simplicity in building. The very 
land revolts against the imposition of Western 
architecture, and occasionally even opposes 
the new course of traffic by pushing railroad 
lines out of level and out of shape. 

Not industry alone still remains thus unin- 
tegrated; government itself exhibits a like con- 
dition. Nothing is fixed except the Throne*, 
Perpetual change is identical with state poUcy. 


Ministers, governors, superintendents, inspec* 
tors, all high civil and military ofiBicials, are 
shifted at irregular and surprisingly short in* 
tervals, and hosts of smaller officials scatter 
each time with the whirl. The province in 
which I passed the first twelvemonth of my 
residence in Japan has had four different 
governors* in five years. During my stay 
at Kumamoto, and before the war had begun, 
the military command of that important post 
was three times changed. The government 
college had in three years three directors. In 
educational circles, especially, the rapidity of 
such changes has been phenomenal. There 
have been five different ministers of education 
in my own time, and more than five different 
educational policies. The twenty-six thou- 
sand public schools are so related in their 
management to the local assemblies that, even 
were no other influences at work, constant 
change would be inevitable because of the 
changes in the assemblies. Directors and 
teachers keep circling from post to post ; there 
are men little more than thirty years old who 
have taught in almost every province of the 
eountry. That any educational system could 


have produced any great results under these 
conditions seems nothing short of miraculous. 
We are accustomed to think that some 
degree of stability is necessary to all real pro- 
gress, aU great development. But Japan ha« 
given proof irrefutable that enormous devel- 
opment is possible without any stability at all. 
The explanation is in the race chai^cter, — a 
race character in more ways than one the very 
opposite of our own. Uniformly mobile, and 
thus uniformly impressionable, the nation has 
moved unitedly in the direction of great ends; 
submitting the whole volume of its forty mil- 
lions to be moulded by the ideas of its rulers, 
even as sand or as water is shaped by wind. 
And this submissiveness to reshaping belongs 
to the old conditions of its soul life, — old 
conditions of rare unselfishness and perfect 
faith. The relative absence from the national 
character of egotistical individualism has been 
the saving of an empire; has enabled a great 
people to preserve its independence against 
prodigious odds. Wherefore Japan may well 
be grateful to her two great religions, the 
creators and the preservers of her moral 
power: to Shint5, which taught the individual 


to think of his Emperor and of his country 
before thinking either of his own family or of 
himself; and to Buddhism, which trained him 
to master regret, to endure pain, and to accept 
as eternal law the vanishing of things loved 
and the tyranny of things hated. 

To-day there is visible a tendency to hard* 
ening, — a danger of changes leading to the 
integration of just such an officialism as that 
which has proved the curse and the weakness 
of China. The moral results of the new edu- 
cation have not been worthy of the material 
results. The charge of want of ''individual* 
ity," in the accepted sense of pure selfishness, 
will scarcely be made against the Japanese of 
the next century. Even the compositions of 
students already reflect the new conception 
of intellectual strength only as a weapon of 
offense, and the new sentiment of aggressive 
egotism. "Lnpennaaency," writes orwith 
a fading memory of Buddhism in his mind, 
"is the nature of our lite. We see often 
persons who were rich yesterday, and are poor 
to-day. This is the result of human competi- 
tion, according to the law of evolution. We 


are exposed to that competition. We must 
fight each other, even if we are not inclined 
to do 80. With what sword shall we fight? 
With the sword of knowledge, forged by edu- 

Well, there are two forms of the cultivation 
of Self. One leads to the exceptional devel- 
opment of the qualities which are noble, and 
the other signifies something about which the 
less said the better. But it is not the former 
which the New Japan is now beginning to 
study. I confess to being one of those who 
believe that the human heart, even in the his- 
tory of a race, may be worth infinitely more 
than the human intellect, and that it will 
sooner or later prove itself infinitely better 
able to answer all the cruel enigmas of the 
Sphinx of Life. I still believe that the old 
Japanese were nearer to the solution of those 
enigmas than are we, just because they rec- 
ognized moral beauty as greater than intel- 
lectual beauty. And, by way of conclusion, 
I may venture to quote from an article on 
education by Ferdinand Brunetiere : — 

^'All our educational measures will prove 
vain, if there be no effort to force into the 


mind, and to deeply impreBs upon it, the sense 
of those fine words of Lamennais : ^ Human 
society is based upon mutual giving^ or upon 
the sacrifice of man for man^ or of each man 
for all other men; and sacrifice is the very 
essence of (ill true society. ' It is this that we 
have been unlearning for nearly a century; 
and if we have to put ourselves to school 
afresh, it will be in order that we may learn 
it again. Without such knowledge there can 
be no society and no education, — not, at least, 
if the object of education be to form man for 
society. Individualism is to-day the enemy 
of education, as it is also the enemy of social 
order. It has not been so always; but it has 
so become. It will not be so forever; but it 
IS so now. And without striving to destroy it 
— which would mean to fall from one extreme 
into another — we must recognize that, no 
matter what we wish to do for the family, for 
society, for education, and for the country, it 
is against individualism that the work will 
have to be done." 



A WOMAN carrying a samisen, and acoom* 
panied by a litUe boy seven or eight years old, 
came to my house to sing. She wore the 
dress of a peasant, and a blue towel tied round 
her head. She was ugly; and her natural 
ugliness had been increased by a cruel attack 
of smallpox. The child carried a bimdle of 
printed ballads. 

Neighbors then began to crowd into my 
front yard, — mostly young mothers and nurse 
girls with babies on their backs, but old 
women and men likewise — the inhyo of the 
vicinity. Also the jinrikisha-men came from 
their stand at the next street-comer; and 
presently there was no more room within the 

The woman sat down on my doorstep, 
tuned her samisen, played a bar of accompani- 
ment, — and a spell descended upon the peo- 


pie; and they stared at each other in smiling 

For out of those ugly disfigured lips there 
gushed md rippled a miracle of a voice- 
young, deep, unutterably touching in its pene* 
trating sweetness. "Woman or wood-fairy? " 
queried a bystander. Woman only, — but a 
very, very great artist. The way she handled 
her instrument might have astounded the most 
skiUful geisha; but no such voice had ever 
been heard from any geisha, and no such 
song. She sang as only a peasant can sing, 
— with vocal rhythms learned, perhaps, from 
the cicadsB and the wild nightingales, — and 
with fractions and semi-fractions and demi- 
semi-fractions of tones never written down in 
the musical language of the West. 

And as she sane, those who listened began 
to weep silently, i did not distinguish Z 
words; but I felt the sorrow and the sweet- 
ness and the patience of the life of Japan pass 
with her voice into my heart, — plaintively 
seeking for something never there. A ten- 
demess invisible seemed to gather and quiver 
about us; and sensations of places and of 
times forgotten came softly back, mingled 


with feelings ghostUer, —feelings not of any 
place or time in living memory. 

Then I saw that the singer was blind. 

When the song was finished, we coaxed the 
woman into the house, and questioned her. 
Once she had been fairly well to do, and had 
learned the samisen when a girl. The little 
boy was her son. Her husband was para- 
lyzed. Her eyes had been destroyed by small* 
pox. But she was strong, and able to walk 
great distances. When the child became 
tired, she would carry him on her back. She 
could support the little one, as well as the 
bed-ridden husband, because whenever she 
sang the people cried and gave her coppers 
and food. . . . Such was her story. We 
gave her some money and a meal; and she 
went away, guided by her boy. 

I bought a copy of the ballad, which was 
about a recent double suicide : " The sorrow^ 
fal ditty of Tamayone and Tahyiro^ — com" 
posed by Tahenaha Tone of Number Four^ 
teen of the Fourth Ward of Nippon-bashi in 
ike South District of the City of Osaka.^^ It 


had evidently been printed from a wooden 
block; and there were two little pictures. 
One showed a girl and boy sorrowing to- 
gether. The other — a sort of tail-piece — • 
represented a writing-stand, a dying lamp, 
an open letter, incense burning in a cup, and 
a vase containing shiMmi^ — that sacred plant 
used in the Buddhist ceremony of making 
offerings to the dead. The queer cursive 
text, looking like shorthand written perpen- 
dicularly, yielded to translation only lines like 
these: — 

"In the First Ward of Nichi-Hommachi, in 
far-famed Osaka — the sorrow of this tale of 
shinju ! 

"Tamayon^, aged nineteen, — to see her was 
to love her, for Takejiro, the young workman. 

"For the time of two lives they exchange mu- 
tual vows — the sorrow of loving a courtezan ! 

"On their arms they tattoo a Baindragon, and 
the character * Bamboo ' — thinking never of the 
troubles of life. . • . 

"But he cannot pay the fifty-five yen for her 
freedom — the anguish of Takejiro' s heart! 

^Eath then vow to pass away together, sinca 


never in this world can they become husband and 
wife. . • . 

"Trusting to her comrades for incense and for 
flowers — the ;pity of their passing like the 
dew ! 

"Tamayon^ takes the wine -cup filled with 
water only, in which those about to die pledge 
each other. . . . 

" the tumuU of the lovers* suicide / — the 
pity of their lives thrown away ! " 

In short, there was nothing very unusual in 
the story, and nothing at all remarkable in 
the verse. All the wonder of the performance 
had been in the voice of the woman. But 
long after the singer had gone that voice 
seemed still to stay, — making within me a 
sense of sweetness and of sadness so strange 
that I could not but try to explain to myself 
the secret of those magical tones. 

And I thought that which is hereafter set 
down: — 

All song, all melody, all music, means only 
SLone evolution of the primitive najbural utter- 
ance of feeling, — of that untaught speech of 


sorrow, joy, or passion, whose words are 
tones. Even as other tongues vary, so varies 
this language of tone combinations. Where- 
fore melodies which move us deeply have no 
significance to Japanese ears; and melodies 
that touch us not at all make powerful appeal 
to the emotion of a race whose soul-life differs 
from our own as blue differs from yellow. . . • 
Still, what is the reason of the deeper feelings 
evoked in me — an alien — by this Oriental 
chant that I could never even learn, — by this 
common song of a blind woman of the people? 
Surely that in the voice of the singer there 
were qualities able to make appeal to some- 
thing larger than the sum of the experience 
of one race, — to something wide as human 
life, and ancient as the knowledge of good 
and evil. 

One summer evening, twenty-five years ago, 
in a London park, I heard a girl say ^^Good- 
night " to somebody passing by. Nothing but 
those two little words, — "Good-night." Who 
she was I do not know : I never even saw her 
face; and I never heard that voice again. But 
still, after the passing of one hundred sea- 


sons, the memory of her "Good-mght " bringg 
a double thrill incomprehensible of pleasure 
and pain, — pain and pleasure, doubtless, not 
of me, not of my own existence, but of pre- 
existences and dead sims. 

For that which makes the charm of a voice 
thus heard but once cannot be of this life. 
It is of lives innumerable and forgotten. 
Certainly there never have been two voices 
having precisely the same quality. But in 
the utterance of affection there is a tender- 
ness of timbre common to the myriad miUion 
voices of aU humanity. Inherited memory 
makes familiar to even the newly-born the 
meaning of this tone of caress. Inherited, no 
doubt, likewise, our knowledge of the tones 
of sympathy, of grief, of pity. And so the 
chant of a blind woman in this city of the Far 
East may revive in even a Western mind 
emotion deeper than individual being, — vague 
dumb pathos of forgotten sorrows, — dim lov- 
ing impulses of generations unremembered. 
The dead die never utterly. They sleep in 
the darkest cells of tired hearts and busy 
brains, — to be startled at rarest moments 
only by the echo of some voice that recalls 
their past. 



Osaka-EtOto Railway. 
April 15, 1805. 

Feeukg drowsy in a public conveyance, 
and not being able to lie down, a Japanese 
woman will lift her long sleeve before her face 
ere she begins to nod. In this second-class 
railway-carriage there are now three women 
asleep in a row, all with faces screened by 
the left sleeve, and all swaying together with 
the rocking of the train, like lotos-flowers in 
a soft current. (This use of the left sleeve 
is either fortuitous or instinctive; probably 
instinctive, as the right hand serves best to 
cling to strap or seat in case of shock.) The 
spectacle is at once pretty and funny, but 
especially pretty, as exemplifying that grace 
with whfch aTjfined JapLl woman^s 
everything, — always in the daintiest and least 


selfish way possible. It is pathetic, too, foi 
the attitude is also that of sorrow, and some- 
times of weaiy prayer. All because of the 
trained sense of duty to show only one's hap- 
piest face to the world. 

Which fact reminds me of an experience. 

A male servant long in my house seemed 
to me the happiest of mortals. He laughed 
invariably when spoken to, looked always de- 
Hghted while at work, appeared to know no- 
thing of the small troubles of life. But one 
day I peeped at him when he thought himself 
quite alone, and his relaxed face startled me. 
It was not the face I had known. Hard lines 
of pain and anger appeared in it, making it 
seem twenty years older. I coughed gently to 
announce my presence. At once the face 
smoothed, softened, lighted up as by a miracle 
of rejuvenation. Miracle, indeed, of perpet- 
ual unselfish self-control. 


KySto, April 16. 
The wooden shutters before my little room 
in the hotel are pushed away; and the mom< 
ing sun immediately paints upon my shoji. 


across squares of gold light, the perfect sharp 
shadow of a little peach-tree. No mortal 
artist — not even a Japanese — could sur- 
pass that silhouette! Limned in dark blue 
against the yellow glow, the marvelous image 
even shows stronger or fainter tones according 
to the varying distance of the unseen branches 
outside. It sets me thinking about the pos- 
sible influence on Japanese art of the use of 
paper for house-lighting purposes. 

By night a Japanese house with only its 
shoji closed looks like a great paper-sided lan- 
tern, — a magic-lantern making moving shad- 
ows within, instead of without itself. By day 
the shadows on the shoji are from outside 
only; but they may be very wonderful at the 
first rising of the sun, if his beams are leveled, 
as in this instance, across a space of quaint 

There is certainly nothing absurd in that 
old Greek story which finds the origin of art 
in the first untaught attempt to trace upon 
some wall the outline of a lover's shadow. 
Very possibly all sense of art, as well as all 
»!.' the ip,™t™l,h.dto™pfe begin- 
nings in the study of shadows. But shadowf 


on shoji are so remarkable as to suggest 
explanation of certain Japanese faculties of 
drawing by no means primitive, but developed 
beyond all parallel, and otherwise difficult 
to accoimt for. Of course, the quality' of 
Japanese paper, which takes shadows better 
than any frosted glass, must be considered, 
and also the character of the shadows them- 
selves. Western vegetation, for example, could 
scarcely furnish silhouettes so gracious as 
those of Japanese garden-trees, all trained by 
centuries of caressing care to look as lovely as 
Nature allows. 

I wish the paper of my shoji could have 
been, like a photographic plate, sensitive to 
that first delicious impression cast by a level 
sun. I am already regretting distortions : the 
beautiful silhouette has begun to lengthen. 


Kt6to, April 16. 

Of all peculiarly beautiful things in Japan, 
the most beautiful are the approaches to high 
places of worship or of rest, — the Ways that 
go to Nowhere and the Steps that lead to 


Certainly, their special charm is the charm 
of the adventitious, — the effect of man's han- 
diwork in union with Nature's finest moods of 
light and form and color, — a charm which 
vanishes on rainy days ; but it is none the less 
wonderful because fitful. 

Perhaps the ascent begins with a sloping 
paved avenue, half a mile long, lined with 
giant trees. Stone monsters guard the way 
at regular intervals. Then you come to some 
great flight of steps ascending through green 
gloom to a terrace umbraged by older and 
vaster trees; and other steps from thence lead 
to other terraces, all in shadow. And you 
climb and climb and climb, till at last, be- 
yond a gray torii, the goal appears : a small, 
void, colorless wooden shrine, — a Shinto 
miya. The shock of emptiness thus received, 
in the high silence and the shadows, after aU 
the sublimity of the long approach, is very 
ghostliness itself. 

Of similar Buddhist experiences whole mul- 
titudes wait for those who care to seek them. 
I might suggest, for example, a visit to the 
grounds of Higashi Otani, which are in the 
city of Ky5to. A grand avenue leads to the 


court of a temple, and from the court a flight 
of steps fully fifty feet wide — massy, mossed, 
and magnificently balustraded — leads to a 
walled terrace. The scene makes one think 
of the approach to some Italian pleasure-gar- 
den of Decameron days. But, reaching the 
terrace, you find only a gate, opening — into 
a cemetery! Did the Buddhist landscape- 
gardener wish to tell us that all pomp and 
power and beauty lead only to such silence at 


Kyoto, April 19-20. 

I have passed the greater part of three days 
in the national Exhibition, — time barely suf- 
ficient to discern the general character and 
significance of the display. It is essentially 
industrial, but nearly all delightful, notwith- 
standing, because of the wondrous application 
of art to all varieties of production. Foreign 
merchants and keener observers than I find in 
it other and sinister meaning, —the most for- 
midable menace to Occidental trade and in- 
dustry ever made by the Orient. "Compared 
with England," wrote a correspondent of the 
London Times^ "it is farthings for pennies 


throughout. . • . The story of the Japanese 
inyasion of Lancashire is older than that of 
the invasion of Korea and China. It has been 
a conquest of peace, — a painless process of 
depletion which is virtually achieved. . . • 
The Kyoto display is proof of a further im- 
mense development of industrial enterprise. 
... A country where laborers' hire is three 
shillings a week, with all other domestic 
charges in proportion, must — other things 
being equal — kill competitors whose expenses 
are quadruple the Japanese scale." Certainly 
the industrial jiujutsu promises unexpected 

The price of admission to the Exhibition 
is a significant matter also. Only five sen! 
Yet even at this figure an immense smn is 
likely to be realized, — so great is the swarm 
of visitors. Multitudes of peasants are pour- 
ing daily into the city, — pedestrians mostly, 
just as for a pilgrimage. And a pilgrimage 
for myriads the journey really is, because of 
the inauguration festival of the greatest of 
Shinshu temples. 

The art department proper I thought much 
inferior to that of the Tokyo Exhibition of 


1890. Fine flmigB tiiere vere, bit bm. 
Eridenee, peiliqis, of liie eagemeaB wiA 
wlneh liie naftioii is tamriitg all ks cn agies 
and talentB in diieeticHis wliere money is to be 
made; for in thoae larger deparbnoDts idioe 
art is combined with indnstiy, — such as ce- 
ramics, enamels, inlaid work, embroideries, — 
no finer and costlier work coold CTer haTe 
been shown. Indeed, the high valoe of cer- 
tain articles on display snggested a reply to 
a Japanese friend who observed, thonghtfolty, 
^If China adopts Western industrial methods, 
she will be able to underbid ns in all the 
markets of the world." 

^^ Perhaps in cheap production," I made 
answer. ^^But there is no reason why Japan 
should depend wholly upon cheapness of pro- 
duction. I think she may rely more securely 
upon her superiority in art and good taste. 
The art-genius of a people may have a spe- 
cial value against which all competition by 
cheap labor is vain. Among Western nations, 
France offers an example. Her wealth is not 
due to her ability to underbid her neighbors. 
Her goods are the dearest in the world: she 
deals in things of luxiiry and beauty. But 


they sell in all civilized countries because they 
are the best of their kind. Why should not 
Japan become the France of the Further 

The weakest part of the art display is that 
devoted to oil-painting, — oil-painting in the 
European manner. No reason exists why the 
Japanese should not be able to paint wonder- 
fully in oil by following their own particular 
methods of artistic expression. But their 
attempts to follow Western methods have 
even risen to mediocrity only in studies re- 
quiring very realistic treatment. Ideal work 
in oil, according to Western canons of art, is 
still out of their reach. Perhaps they may 
yet discover for themselves a new gateway to 
the beautiful, even through oil-painting, by 
adaptation of the method to the particular 
needs of the race-genius; but there is yet no 
sign of such a tendency. 

A canvas representing a perfectly naked 
woman looking at herself in a very large mir- 
ror created a disagreeable impression. The 
Japanese press had been requesting the re- 
moval of the piece, and uttering comments not 


flattering to Western art ideas. Neverthe- 
lesSi the canvas was by a Japanese painter. 
It was a daub ; but it had been boldly priced 
at three thousand dollars. 

I stood near the painting for a while to 
observe its effect upon the people, — peasants 
by a huge majority. They would stare at it, 
laugh scornfully, utter some contemptuous 
phrase, and turn away to examine the kahe' 
mono^ which were really far more worthy of 
notice, though offered at prices ranging only 
from ten to fifty yen. The comments were 
ebiefly leveled at ** foreign" ideas of good 
taste (the figure having been painted with a 
European head). None seemed to consider 
the thing as a Japanese work. Had it repre- 
sented a Japanese woman, I doubt whether 
the crowd would have even tolerated its exist- 

Now all this scorn for the picture itself was 
just. There was nothing ideal in the work. 
It was simply the representation of a naked 
woman doing what no woman could like to be 
seen doing. And a picture of a mere naked 
woman, however well executed, is never art if 
art means idealism. The realism of the thing 


was its offensiveness. Ideal nakedness may 
be divine, — the most godly of all human 
dreams of the superhuman. But a naked 
person is not divine at all. Ideal nudity 
needs no girdle, because the charm is of lines 
too beautiful to be veiled or broken. The 
Uving real human body has no such divine 
geometry. Question : Is an artist justified in 
creating nakedness for its own sake, unless he 
can divest that nakedness of every trace of 
the real and personal? 

There is a Buddhist text which truly de- 
clares that he alone is wise who can see things 
without their individuality. And it is this 
Buddhist way of seeing which makes the 
greatness of the true Japanese art. 

These thoughts came : — 

That nudity which is divine, which is the 
abstract of beauty absolute, gives to the be- 
holder a shock of astonishment and delight, 
not immixed with melancholy. Very few 
works of art give this, because very few ap- 
proach perfection. But there are marbles and 


gaoM wbieh give it, and oertain fine studies of 
tbem, sach as the engravings published bj the 
Society of DilettantL The longer one looks, 
the more the wonder grows, since there ap- 
pears no line, or part of a line, whose beaoty 
does not surpass all remembrance. So the 
secret of such art was long thought supernat- 
ural; and, in very truth, the sense of beauty 
it communicates is more than human, — is 
superhuman, in the meaning of that which is 
outside of existing life, — is therefore super- 
natural as any sensation known to man can be. 

What is the shock? 

It resembles strangely, and is certainly akin 
to, that psychical shock which comes with the 
first experience of love. Plato explained the 
shock of beauty as being the Soul's sudden 
half-remembrance of the World of Divine 
Ideas. "They who see here any image or 
resemblance of the things which are there 
receive a shock like a thunderbolt, and are, 
after a manner, taken out of themselves.^' 
Schopenhauer explained the shock of first 
love as the Will-power of the Soul of the 
Bace. The positive psychology of Spencer 
declares in our own day that the most power- 


ful of haman passions, when it makes its first 
appearanoe, is absolutely antecedent to all in- 
dividual ezperienoe. Thus do ancient thought 
and modem — metaphysics and science — ac- 
cord in recognizing that the first deep sensa- 
tion of human beauty known to the individual 
is not individual at all. 

Must not the same truth hold of that shook 
which supreme art gives? The human ideal 
expressed in such art appeals surely to the 
experience of aU that Fast enshrined in the 
emotional life of the beholder, — to something 
inherited from innumerable ancestors. 

Innumerable indeed! 

Allowing three generations to a century, 
and presupposing no consanguineous mar- 
riages, a French mathematician estimates that 
each existing individual of his nation would 
have in his veins the blood of twenty millions 
of contemporaries of the year 1000. Or cal- 
culating from the first year of our own era, 
the ancestry of a man of to-day would repre- 
sent a total of eighteen quintillions. Yet 
what are twenty centuries to the time of the 
life of man ! 

Well, the emotion of beauty, like all of our 


emotions, is certainly the inherited product of 
unimaginably countless experiences in an im- 
measurable past. In every aesthetic sensation 
is the stirring of triUions of triUions of ghostly 
memories buried in the magical soU of the 
brain. And each man carries within him an 
ideal of beauty which is but an infinite com- 
posite of dead perceptions of form, color, 
grace, once dear to look upon. It is dormant, 
this ideal, — potential in essence, — cannot be 
evoked at will before the imagination; but it 
may light up electrically at any perception by 
the living outer senses of some vague affinity. 
Then is felt that weird, sad, delicious thrill, 
which accompanies the sudden backward-flow- 
ing of the tides of life and time; then are the 
sensations of a million years and of myriad 
generations summed into the emotional feeling 
of a moment. 

Now, the artists of one civilization only — 
the Grreeks — were able to perform the miracle 
of disengaging the Bace-Ideal of beauty from 
their own souls, and fixing its wavering out- 
line in jewel and stone. Nudity they made 
divine; and they still compel us to feel its 
divinity ahnost as they felt it themselves. 


Perhaps they conld do this because, as Em- 
erson suggested, they possessed all-perfect 
senses. Certainly it was not because they 
were as beautiful as their own statues. No 
man and no woman could be that. This only 
is sure, — that they discerned and clearly fixed 
their ideal, — composite of coimtless million 
remembrances of dead grace in eyes and eye- 
lids, throat and cheek, mouth and chin, body 
and limbs. 

The Greek marble itself gives proof that 
there is no absolute individuality, — that the 
mind is as much a composite of souls as the 
body is of cells. 


EYdro, April 21. 

The noblest examples of religious archi« 
tecture in the whole empire have just been 
completed; and the great City of Temples is 
now enriched by two constructions probably 
never surpassed in all the ten centuries of its 
existence. One is the gift of the Imperial 
Government; the other, the gift of the com- 
mon people. 


The goyemment's gift is the Dai-Kioku- 
Den, — erected to commemorate the great fes- 
tival of Kwammu Tenno, fifty-first emperor 
of Japan, and founder of the Sacred City. 
To the Spirit of this Emperor the Dai-Kioku- 
Den is dedicated : it is thus a Shinto temple, 
and the most superb of all Shinto temples. 
Nevertheless, it is not Shinto architecture, 
but a facsimile of the original palace of 
Kwammu Tenn5 upon the original scale. The 
efEect upon national sentiment of this magnifi- 
cent deviation from conventional forms, and 
the profound poetry of the reverential feeling 
which suggested it, can be fully comprehended 
only by those who know that Japan is still 
practically ruled by the dead. Much more 
than beautiful are the edifices of the Dai- 
Eioku-Den. Even in this most archaic of 
Japan cities they startle; they tell to the sky 
in every tilted line of their homed roofs the 
tale of another and more fantastic age. The 
most eccentrically striking parts of the whole 
are the two-storied and five-towered gates, — 
veritable Chinese dreams, one would say. In 
color the construction is not less oddly attrac- 
tive than in form, ~^and this especially be* 


cause of the fine use made of antique green 
tiles in the polychromatic roofing. Surely the 
august Spirit of Kwammu Tenno might well 
rejoice in this charming evocation of the past 
by architectural necromancy! 

But the gift of the people to Kyoto is still 
grander. It is represented by the glorious 
Higashi Hongwanji, — or eastern Hongwan 
temple (Shinshu). Western readers may form 
some idea of its character from the simple 
statement that it cost eight millions of dollars 
and required seventeen years to build. In 
mere dimension it is largely exceeded by other 
Japanese buildings of cheaper construction; 
but anybody familiar with the Buddhist tem- 
ple architecture of Japan can readily perceive 
the difficulty of building a temple one hundred 
and twenty-seven feet high, one hundred and 
ninety-two feet deep, and more than two hun- 
dred feet long. Because of its peculiar form, 
and especially because of the vast sweeping 
lines of its roof, the Hongwanji looks even 
far larger than it is, — looks mountainous. 
But in any country it would be deemed a won- 
derful structure. There are beams forty-two 
feet long and four feet thick; and there are 


pillars nine feet in circumference. One may 
guess the character of the interior decoration 
from the statement that the mere painting of 
the lotos-flowers on the screens behind the 
main altar cost ten thousand dollars. Nearly- 
all this wonderful work was done with the 
money contributed in coppers by hard-work- 
ing peasants. And yet there are people who 
think that Buddhism is dying! 

More than one hundred thousand peasants 
came to see the grand inauguration. They 

down by the acre in the great court. I saw 
them wkg thus at ^^ in the afternoon. 
The court was a living sea. Yet all that host 
was to wait till seven o'clock for the begin- 
ning of the ceremony, without refreshment, in 
the hot sun. I saw at one comer of the court 
a band of about twenly young girls, -aU in 
white, and wearing peculiar white caps, — 
and I asked who they were. A bystander 
replied: ^^As all these people must wait here 
many hours, it is to be feared that some may 
become ill. Therefore professional nurses 
have been stationed here to take care of any 
who may be sick. There are likewise stretch- 


ers in waiting, and carriersl And there are 
many physicians." 

I admired the patience and the faith. But 
those peasants might well love the magnificent 
temple, -their own creation in very truth, 
both directly and indirectly. For no small 
part of the actual labor of building was done 
for love only; and the mighty beams for the 
roof had been hauled to Kyoto from far-away 
moimtain-slopes, with cables made of the hair 
of Buddhist wives and daughters. One such 
cable, preserved in the temple, is more than 
three hundred and sixty feet long, and nearly 
three inches in diameter. 

To me the lesson of these two magnificent 
monuments of national religious sentiment 
suggested the certain future increase in ethical 
power and value of that sentiment, concomi- 
tantly with the increase of national prosperity. 
Temporary poverty is the real explanation of 
the apparent temporary decline of Buddhism. 
But an era of great wealth is beginning. 
Some outward forms of Buddhism must per* 
ish; some superstitions of Shint5 must die. 
The vital truths and recognitions will expand, 


strengilien, take <mfy deeper root in the heart 
of the race, and potently prepare it for the 
trials of that larger and harsher life upon 
which it has to enter. 


Eob£, Apiil 23. 

I have been visiting the exhibition of fishes 
and of fisheries which is at Hyogo, in a gar- 
den by the sea. Warakn-en is its name, 
which signifies, ^^The Gurden of the Pleasure 
of Peace." It is laid out like a landscape 
garden of old time, and deserves its name. 
Over its verge you behold the great bay, and 
fishermen in boats, and the white far-gliding 
of sails splendid with Kght, and beyond all, 
shutting out the horizon, a lofty beautiful 
massing of peaks, mauve-colored by distance. 

I saw ponds of curious shapes, filled with 
clear sea-water, in which fish of beautiful col- 
ors were swimming. I went to the aquarium 
where stranger kinds of fishes swam behind 
glass, — fishes shaped like toy-kites, and fishes 
shaped like sword-blades, and fishes that 
seemed to turn themselves inside out, and 
funny, pretty fishes of butterfly-colors, that 


move like dancing-girls, waving sleeve-shaped 

I saw models of all manner of boats and 
nets and hooks and fish-traps and torch-bas- 
kets for night-fishing. I saw pictures of every 
kind of fishing, and both models and pictures 
of men killing whales. One picture was ter- 
rible, — the death agony of a whale caught 
in a giant net, and the leaping of boats in a 
turmoil of red foam, and one naked man on 
the monstrous back — a single figure against 
the sky — striking with a great steel, and 
the fountain-gush of blood responding to the 
stroke. . . . Beside me I heard a Japanese 
father and mother explain the picture to their 

little boy; and the mother said: — 

"When the whale is going to die, it speaks; 
it cries to the Lord Buddha for help, — Namu 
Amida Butsu I " 

I went to another part of the garden where 
there were tame deer, and a "golden bear" in 
a cage, and peafowl in an aviary, and an ape. 
The people fed the deer and the bear with 
cakes, and tried to coax the peacock to open 
its tail, and grievously tormented the ape. I 
sat down to rest on the veranda of a pleasure- 


house near the aviaiyy and the Japanese folk 
who had been looking at the picture of whale- 
fishing found their way to the same veranda; 
and presently I heard the little boy say : — 

^^ Father, there is an old, old fisherman in 
his boat. Why does he not go to the Palace 
of the Dragon-King of the Sea, like Ura- 
shima? " 

The father answered: ^'Urashima caught a 
turtle which was not really a turtle, but the 
Daughter of the Dragon-King. So he was 
rewarded for his kindness. But that old fish- 
erman has not caught any turtle, and even if 
he had caught one, he is much too old to 
marry. Therefore he will not go to the Pal- 

Then the boy looked at the flowers, and the 
fountains, and the sunned sea with its white 
sails, and the mauve-colored mountains be- 
yond all, and exclaimed : — 

"Father, do you think there is any place 
more beautiful than this in the whole world? " 

The father smiled deliciously, and seemed 
^bout to answer; but before he could speak 
the child cried out, and leaped, and clapped 
his little hands for delight, because the pea- 


cock had suddenly outspread the splendor of 
its tail. And all hastened to the aviary. So 
I never heard the reply to that pretty ques- 

But afterwards I thought that it might have 
been answered thus : — 

"My boy, very beautiful this is. But the 
world is full of beauty; apd there may be 
gardens more beautiful than this. 

"But the fairest of gardens is not in our 
world. It is the Garden of Amida, in the 
Paradise of the West. 

"And whosoever does no wrong what time 
he lives may after death dwell in that Gar- 

"There the divine Kujaku, bird of heaven, 
sings of the Seven Steps and the Five Powers, 
spreading its tail as a sun. 

"There lakes of jewel-water are, and in 
them lotos-flowers of a loveliness for which 
there is not any name. And from those flow- 
ers proceed continually rays of rainbow-light, 
and spirits of Buddhas newly -bom. 

"And the water, murmuring among the 
lotos-buds, speaks to the souls in them of In- 


finite Memory and Infinite Vision, and of the 
Four Infinite Feelings. 

^^And in that place there is no difference 
between gods and men, save that under the 
splendor of Amida even the gods must bend; 
and all sing the hymn of praise beginning, 
* O Thou of Immeaaurahle Light I ' 

^^But the Voice of the Biver Celestial 
chants forever, like the chanting of thousands 
in unison : ^ Even this is not high ; there is 
stiU a Higher 1 This is not real; this is not 


When O-Toyo's husband — a distant cou- 
sin, adopted into her family for love's sake — 
had been summoned by his lord to the capital, 
she did not feel anxious about the future. 
She felt sad only. It was the first time since 
their bridal that they had ever been sepa- 
rated. But she had her father and mother 
to keep her company, and, dearer than either, 
— though she would never have confessed it 
even to herself, — her little son. Besides, she 
always had plenty to do. There were many 
household duties to perform, and there was 
much clothing to be woven — both silk and 

Once daily at a fixed hour, she would set 
for the absent husband, in his favorite room, 
little repasts faultlessly served on dainty lac- 
quered trays, — miniature meals such as are 
offered to the ghosts of the ancestors, and to 


the gods.^ These repasts were served at the 
east side of the room, and his kneeling-cush- 
ion placed before them. The reason they 
were served at the east side was because he 
had gone east. Before removing the food, 
she always lifted the cover of the little soup- 
bowl to see if there was vaiK>r upon its lac- 
quered inside surface. For it is said that if 
there be vapor on the inside of the lid cover- 
ing food so ofEered, the absent beloved is well. 
But if there be none, he is dead, — because 
that is a sign that his soul has returned by 
itself to seek nourishment. 0-Toyo found the 
lacquer thickly beaded with vapor day by day. 
The child was her constant delight. He was 
three years old, and fond of asking questions 
to which none but the gods know the real 
answers. When he wanted to play, she laid 
aside her work to play with him. When he 
wanted to rest, she told him wonderful stories, 
or gave pretty pious answers to his questions 

^ Such a repast, offered to the spirit of the absent one 
Joyed, is called a Kagi^zen; lit., '^ Shadow-tray." The 
word zen is also nsed to sig^nify the meal served on the 
lacquered tray, — which has feet, like a miniature table. 
So that the term '* Shadow-feast " would be a better trans- 
lation of Kagi-nen* 


about those things which no man can ever un- 
derstand. At evening, when the little lamps 
had been lighted before the holy tablets and 
the images, she taught his lips to shape the 
words of filial prayer. When he had been 
hiid to sleep, she brought her work near him, 
and watched the still sweetness of his face. 
Sometimes he would smile in his dreams; and 
she knew that Kwannon the divine was play- 
ing shadowy play with him, and she would 
murmur the Buddhist invocation to that Maid 
^'who looketh forever down above the sound 
of prayer." 

Sometimes, in the season of very clear days, 
she would climb the mountain of Dakeyama, 
carrying her little boy on her back. Such a 
trip delighted him much, not only because of 
what his mother taught him to see, but also 
of what she taught him to hear. The sloping 
way was through groves and woods, and over 
grassed slopes, and around queer rocks; and 
there were flowers with stories in their hearts, 
and trees holding tree-spirits. Pigeons cried 
horup'lcorup ; and doves sobbed owao^ owdo; 
and cicadas wheezed and fluted and tinkled. 


All those who wait for absent dear ones 
make, if they can, a pilgrimage to the peak 
called Dakeyama. It is visible from any part 
of the city; WLm its summit several p^ 
inces can be seen. At the very top is a stone 
of ahnost human height and shape, perpen- 
dicularly set up; and little pebbles are heaped 
before it and upon it. And near by thm. is 
a small Shinto shrine erected to the spirit of 
a princess of other days. For she mourned 
the absence of one she loved, and used to 
watch from this mountain for his coming until 
she pined away and was changed into a stone. 
The people therefore built the shrine; and 
lovers of the absent still pray there for the 
return of those dear to them; and each, after 
so praying, takes home one of the little peb- 
bles heaped there. And when the beloved 
one returns, the pebble must be taken back to 
the pebble-pile upon the mountain-top, and 
other pebbles with it, for a thank-ofEering and 

Always ere 0-Toyo and her son could reach 
their home after such a day, the dusk would 
fall softly about them; for the way was long. 


and they had to both go and return by boat 
through the wilderness of rice-fields round 
the town, —which is a slow manner of jour- 
neying. Sometimes stars and fireflies light- 
ed them; sometimes also the moon, — and 
0-Toyo would softly sing to her boy the Izumo 
child-song to the moon : — 

Ldtde Lady Moon, 
How old are yoa ? 
** Thirteen days, — 
Thirteen and nine." 
That is still yonng^, 
And the reason mnst be 


For that bright red oln, 

So nioely tied,^ 

And that nice white girdle 

About yonr hips. 

Will yon g^Te it to the horse ? 

" Oh, no, no I " 

Will yon giye it to the cow ? 
"Oh, no,noI»2 

^ Because an obi or girdle of yery bright color can be 
vom only by children. 

^ Nono-San, 
** JiuHsan, — 


And up to the blue night would rise from 
all those wet leagues of labored field that 
great soft bubbling chorus which seems the 
very voice of the soil itself, — the chant of the 
frogs. And 0-Toyo would interpret its syl- 
lables to the child: Me hayuil me hayui! 
"Mine eyes tickle; I want to sleep." 

All those were happy hours. 


Then twice, within the time of three days, 
those masters of life and death whose ways 
belong to the eternal mysteries struck at her 

Sore wa mada 
Wakai ye mo 

Akaiixo no 
Obi to, 
Shiro iio no 
Obi to 

Koshi ni shanto 
Musnn de. 
Umani yarn? 

Ushi ni yarn ? 



beart. First she was taught that the gentle 
husband for whom she had so often prayed 
never could return to her, — having been re- 
turned unto that dust out of which all forms 
are borrowed. And in another little while 
she knew her boy slept so deep a sleep that 
the Chinese physician could not waken him. 
These things she learned only as shapes are 
learned in lightning flashes. Between and 
beyond the flashes was that absolute dark- 
ness which is the pity of the gods. 

It passed; and she rose to meet a foe whose 
name is Memory. Before all others she could 
keep her face, as in other days, sweet and smil- 
ing But when alone with 4is visitant, she 
found herself less strong. She would arrange 
little toys and spread out little dresses on the 
matting, and look at them, and talk to them in 
whispers, and smile silently. But the smile 
would ever end in a burst of wild, loud weep- 
ing; and she would beat her head upon the 
floor, and ask foolish questions of the gods. 

One day she thought of a weird consolation, 
— that rite the people name Tcyritsu-hanashi^ 
-—the evocation of the dead. Could she not 


oall back her boy for one brief minate only? 
It would trouble the little soul; but would lie 
not gladly bear a moment's pain for her dear 
sake? Surely! 

[To have the dead called back one must go 
to some priest — Buddhist or Shinto — who 
knows the rite of incantation. And the mor- 
tuary tablet, or ihai, of the dead must be 
brought to that priest. 

Then ceremonies of purification are per- 
formed; candles are lighted and incense is 
kindled before the ihai; and prayers or parts 
of sutras are recited; and ofiEerings of flowers 
and of rice are made. But, in this case, the 
rice must not be cooked. 

And when everything has been made ready, 
the priest, taking in his left hand an instru- 
ment shaped like a bow, and striking it rap- 
idly with his right, calls upon the name of the 
dead, and cries out the words, Kitazo yol 
Mtazo yo ! kitazo yo I meaning, ^^ I have 
come."^ And, as he cries, the tone of his 

^ Whence the Lcamo saying about one who too often 
umonnceB his coming : '' Thy talk is like the talk of neoro- 
nunoy 1 " — TmrUsulKinoM no yona. 


voice gradually changes until it becomes the 
very voice of the dead person, — for the ghost 
enters into him. 

Then the dead will answer questions qidckly 
asked, but will cry continually: ^^ Hasten, 
hasten! for this my coming back is painful, 
and I have but a little time to stay ! " And 
having answered, the ghost passes; and the 
priest falls senseless upon his face. 

Now to call back the dead is not good. 
For by calling them back their condition is 
made worse. Returning to the underworld, 
they must take a place lower than that which 
they held before. 

To-day these rites are not allowed by law. 
They once consoled; but the law is a good 
law, and just, — since there exist men willing 
to mock the divine which is in human hearts.] 

So it came to pass that 0-Toyo found her- 
seK one night in a lonely little temple at the 
verge of the ciiy, — kneeling before the ihai 
of her boy, and hearing the rite of incanta- 
tion. And presently, out of the lips of the 
officiant there came a voice she thought she 
knew, — a voice loved above all others, — 


bat faint and very thin, like a sobbing of 

And the thin voice cried to her: — 

^^Ask quickly, quickly, mother! Dark is 
the way and long; and I may not linger." 

Then tremblingly she questioned: — 

"Why must I sorrow for my child? What 
is the justice of the gods? " 

And there was answer given: — 

"O mother, do not mourn me thus! That 
I died was only that you might not die. For 
the year was a year of sickness and of sor- 
row, — and it was given me to know that you 
were to die; and I obtained by prayer that I 
should take your place. ^ 

"O mother, never weep for me I It is not 
kindness to mourn for the dead. Over the 
Biver of Tears^ their silent road is; and when 
mothers weep, the flood of that river rises, 
and the soul cannot pass, but must wander to 
and fro. 

"Therefore, I pray you, do not grieve, O 
mother mine! Only give me a little water 

^ Migawarif " Bubstitate/* is the religiooB tonn. 
' *' Namida-no-Eawa.*' 



From that hour she was not seen to weep. 
She performed, Ughtly and sUently, as in for- 
mer days, the gentle duties of a daughter. 

Seasons passed; and her father thought to 
find another husband for her. To the mother, 
he said: — 

^^If our daughter again have a son, it will 
be great joy for her, and for all of us." 

But the wiser mother made answer : — 

^^ Unhappy she is not. It is impossible that 
she marry again. She has become as a little 
child, knowing nothing of trouble or sin." 

It was true that she had ceased to know real 
pain. She had begun to show a strange fond- 
ness for very small things. At first she had 
found her bed too large — perhaps through 
the sense of emptiness left by the loss of her 
child; then, day by day, other things seemed 
to grow too large, — the dwelling itself, the 
familiar rooms, the alcove and its great flower- 
vases, — even the household utensils. She 
wished to eat her rice with miniature chop- 
sticks out of a very small bowl such as chil- 
dren use. 


In these things she was lovingly humored; 
and in other matters she was not fantastic. 
The old people consulted together about her 
constantly. At last the father said : -^ 

^^For our daughter to live with strangers 
might be painful. But as we are aged, we 
may soon have to leave her. Perhaps we 
ool provide for her by n>aking her a nun. 
We might build a little temple for her." 

Next day the mother asked 0-Toyo: — 

"Would you not like to become a holy nun, 
and to live in a very, very small temple, with 
a very small altar, and little images of the 
Buddhas? We should be always near you. 
If you wish this, we shall get a priest to teach 
you the sutras." 

0-Toyo wished it, and asked that an ex- 
tremely small nun's dress be got for her. 
But the mother said : — 

"Everything except the dress a good nun 
may have made small. But she must wear a 
large dress — that is the law of Buddha." 

So she was persuaded to wear the same 
dress as other nuns. 



They built for her a small An-dera, or 
Niin's-Temple, in an empiy court where an- 
other and larger temple, called Amida-ji, had 
once stood. The An-dera was also called 
Amida-ji, and was dedicated to Amida-Nyorai 
and to other Buddhas. It was fitted up with 
a very small altar and with miniature altar 
furniture. There was a tiny copy of the su- 
tras on a tiny reading-desk, and tiny screens 
and bells and kakemono. And she dwelt 
there long after her parents had passed away. 
People called her the Amida-ji no Bikuni, — 
which means The Nun of the Temple of 

A little outside the gate there was a statue 
of Jizo. This Jizo was a special Jizo, — the 
friend of sick children. There were nearly 
always offerings of small rice-cakes to be seen 
before him. These signified that some sick 
child was being prayed for; and the number 
of the rice-cakes signified the nimiber of the 
years of the child. Most often there were but 
two or three cakes; rarely there were seven or 


ten. The Amida-ji no Bikuni took care of 
the statue, and supplied it with incense-offer- 
ings, and flowers from the temple garden ; for 
there was a small garden behind the An-dera. 

After making her morning round with her 
alms-bowl, she would usually seat herself be- 
fore a very small loom, to weave cloth much 
too narrow for serious use. But her webs 
were bought always by certain shopkeepers 
who knew her story; and they made her pres- 
ents of very small cups, tiny flower-vases, and 
queer dwarf -trees for her garden. 

Her greatest pleasure was the companion- 
ship of children; and this she never lacked. 
Japanese child-life is mostly passed in temple 
courts; and many happy childhoods were 
spent in the court of the Amida-ji. All the 
mothers in that street liked to have their little 
ones play there, but cautioned them never to 
laugh at the Bikuni-San. ^^ Sometimes her 
ways are strange," they would say; "but that 
is because she once had a little son, who died, 
and the pain became too great for her mother's 
heart. So you must be very good and re- 
spectful to her." 

Good they were, but not quite respectful in 


the reverential sense. They knew better than 
to be that. They called her "Bikuni-San" 
always, and saluted her nicely; but otherwise 
they treated her like one of themselves. They 
played games with her; and she gave them 
tea in extremely small cups, and made for 
them heaps of rice-cakes not much bigger than 
peas, and wove upon her loom cloth of cotton 
and cloth of silk for the robes of their dolls. 
So she became to them as a blood-sister. 

They played with her daily till they grew 
too big to play, and left the court of the 
temple of Amida to begin the bitter work of 
life, and to become the fathers and mothers 
of children whom they sent to play in their 
stead. These learned to love the Bikuni-San 
like their parents had done. And the Bikuni- 
San lived to play with the children of the 
chUdren of the children of those who remem- 
bered when her temple was built. 

The people took good heed that she should 
not know want. There was always given to 
her more than she needed for herself. So she 
was able to be nearly as kind to the children 
as she wished, and to feed extravagantly cer- 
tain small animals. Birds nested in her tem- 


pie, and ate from her hand, and learned not 
to perch upon the heads of the Buddhas. 

Some days after her funeral, a crowd of 
children visited my house. A little girl of 
nine years spoke for them all : — 

^^Sir, we are asking for the sake of the 
Bikuni-San who is dead. A very large haka ^ 
has been set up for her. It is a nice haka. 
But we want to give her also a very, very 
small haka, because in the time she was with 
us she often said that she would like a very 
little haka. And the stone-cutter has prom- 
ised to cut it for us, and to make it very 
pretty, if we can bring the money. Therefore 
perhaps you will honorably give something." 

"Assuredly," I said. "But now you will 
have nowhere to play." 

She answered, smiling: — 

"We shall still play in the court of the 
temple of Amida. She is buried there. She 
will hear our playing, and be glad." 

^ Tombetone. 




HtOgo, May 5, 1806. 

HtOgo, this morning, lies bathed in a lim< 
pid magnificence of light indescribable, — 
spring light, which is vapory, and lends a sort 
of apparitional charm to far things seen 
through it. Forms remain sharply outlined, 
but are almost idealized by faint colors not 
belonging to them; and the great hills behind 
the town aspire into a cloudless splendor of 
tint that seems the ghost of azure rather than 
azure itseK. 

Over the blue-gray slope of tiled roofs there 
is a vast quivering and fluttering of extraor- 
dinary shapes, — a spectacle not indeed new 
to me, but always delicious. Everywhere are 
floating — tied to very tall bamboo poles — 
immense brightly colored paper fish, which 
look and move as if alive. The greater num- 


ber vary from five to fifteen feet in length; 
but Here and there I see a baby scarcely a 
foot long, hooked to the tail of a larger one. 
Some poles have four or five fish attached to 
them at heights proportioned to the dimen- 
sions of the fish, the largest always at the top. 
So cunningly shaped and colored these things 
are that the first sight of them is always start- 
ling to a stranger. The lines holding them 
are fastened within the head; and the wind, 
entering the open mouth, not only inflates the 
body to perfect form, but keeps it undulating, 
— rising and descending, turning and twist- 
ing, precisely like a real fish, while the tail 
plays and the fins wave irreproachably. In 
the garden of my next-door neighbor there 
are two very fine specimens. One has an 
orange belly and a bluish-gray back; the 
other is all a silvery tint; and both have big 
weird eyes. The rustling of their motion as 
they swim against the sky is like the sound 
of wind in a cane-field. A little farther off I 
see another very big fish, with a little red boy 
clinging to its back. That red boy represents 
Kintoki, strongest of all children ever bom in 
Japan, who, while still a baby, wrestled with 
bears and set traps for goblin-birds. 


Everybody knows that these paper carp, or 
koi^ are hoisted only during the period of the 
great birth festival of boys, in the fifth month ; 
that their presence above a house signifies the 
birth of a son; and that they symbolize the 
hope of the parents that their lad will be able 
to win his way through the world against all 
obstacles, — even as the real koi, the great 
Japanese carp, aacjends swift rivers against 
the stream. In many parts of southern and 
western Japan you rarely see these koi. You 

doth, called noboriy which are fastened per- 
pendicularly, like sails, with little spars and 
rings to poles of bamboo, and bear designs in 
various colors of the koi in an eddy, — or of 
Shoki, conqueror of demons, — or of pines, — 
or of tortoises, — or other fortunate symbols. 


But in this radiant spring of the Japanese 
year 2555, the koi might be taken to symbol- 
ize something larger than parental hope, — 
the great trust of a nation regenerated through 
war. The military revival of the Empire— 


the real birthday of New Japan — began with 
the conquest of China. The war is ended; 
the future, though clouded, seems big with 
promise; and, however grim the obstacles to 
loftier and more enduring achievements, Japan 
has neither fears nor doubts. 

Perhaps the future danger is just in this 
immense self-confidence. It is not a new feel- 
ing created by victory. It is a race feeling, 
which repeated triumphs have served only to 
strengthen. From the instant of the declara- 
tion of war there was never the least doubt of 
ultimate victory. There was universal and 
profound enthusiasm, but no outward signs of 
emotional excitement. Men at once set to 
work writing histories of the triumphs of 
Japan, and these histories — issued to sub- 
scribers in weekly or monthly parts, and illus- 
trated with photo-Kthographs or drawings on 
wood — were selling all over the country long 
before any foreign observers could have ven- 
tured to predict the final results of the cam- 
paign. From first to last the nation felt sure 
of its own strength, and of the impotence of 
China. The toy-makers put suddenly into 
the market legions of ingenious mechanisms, 


representing Chinese soldiers in flight, or be- 
ing cut down by Japanese troopers, or tied 
together as prisoners by their queues, or Jcow^ 
towing for mercy to illustrious generals. The 
old-fashioned miKtaiy playthings, represent- 
ing samurai in armor, were superseded by 
figures — in clay, wood, paper, or silk — of 
Japanese cavaliy, infantry, and artiUeiy; by 
models of forts and batteries; and models of 
men-of-war. The storming of the defenses of 
Port Arthur by the Kumamoto Brigade was 
the subject of one ingenious mechanical toy; 
another, equally clever, repeated the fight of 
the Matsushima Kan with the Chinese iron- 
clads. There were sold likewise myriads of 
toy-guns discharging corks by compressed air 
with a loud pop, and myriads of toy-swords, 
and countless tiny bugles, the constant blowing 
of which recalled to me the tin -horn tumult 
of a certain New Year's Eve in New Orleans. 
The announcement of each victory resulted in 
an enormous manufacture and sale of colored 
prints, rudely and cheaply executed, and 
mostly depicting the fancy of the artist only, 
but well fitted to stimulate the popular love 
of glory. Wonderful sets of chessmen also 


appeared, each piece representing a Chinese 
or Japanese officer or soldier. 

Meanwhile, the theatres were celebrating 
the war after a much more complete fashion. 
It is no exaggeration to say that almost every 
episode of the campaign was repeated upon 
the stage. Actors even visited the battlefields 
to study scenes and backgrounds, and fit them- 
selves to portray realistically, with the aid of 
artificial snowstorms, the hardships of the 
army in Manchuria. Every gallant deed was 
dramatized almost as soon as reported. The 
death of the bugler Shirahami Genjiro ; ^ the 

1 At the battle of Song-Hwan, a Japanese bugler named 
Sbirakami Genjiro was ordered to sound the charge (suzunU), 
He had sounded it once when a bullet passed through his 
lungs, throwing him down. His comrades tried to take the 
bugle away, seeing the wound was fatal. He wrested it 
from them, lifted it again to his lips, sounded the charge 
once more with all his strength, and fell back dead. I yen- 
tnie to offer this rough translation of a song now sung about 
him by every soldier and schoolboy in Japan : — 


(After the Japanese military-ballad, £appa-fU>-Ai&iH.) 

Easy in other time than this 

Were Anjo's stream to cross ; 
But now, beneath the storm of shot, 

Its waters seethe and toss. 


triuinpliant courage of Harada Jiukiclii, who 
scaled a rampart and opened a fortress gate 
tc Ids comrades ; the heroism of the fourteen 

In other time to pass that stream 

Were sport for boys at play ; 
Bat every maa through blood most wade 

Who fords Anjo to-day. 

The bngle sonnds ;— through flood and flame 

Charges the Ihie of steel ; — 
AbOTO the crash of battle rings 

The bugle's stem appeal. 

Why has that bugle ceased to oaU? 

Why does it call once more 7 
Why sounds the stirring signal now 

More faintly than before ? 

What time the bugle ceased to sound, 
The breast was smitten through ; — 

What time the blast rang faintly, blood 
Gushed from the lips that blew. 

Death-stricken, bUU the bugler stands 1 

He leans upon his gun, — 
Once more to sound the bugle -call 

Before his life be done. 

What though the shattered body fail? 

The spirit rushes free 
Through Heaven and Earth to sound aosw 

That call to Victory I 

Far, far b^ond our shores the spot 

Now honored by his fall ; — 
But forty million brethren 

Have heard that bugle-calL 

0<»nrade I —beyond the peaks and 
Your bugle sounds to-day 

In forty million loyal hearts 
A thousand miles away I 


troopers who held their own against three 
hundred infantry; the successful charge of 
unarmed coolies upon a Chinese battalion, — 
all these and many other incidents were re- 
produced in a thousand theatres. Immense 
illuminations of paper lanterns, lettered with 
phrases of loyalty or patriotic cheer, cele- 
brated the success of the imperial arms, or 
gladdened the eyes of soldiers going by train 
to the field. In Kobe, — constantly traversed 
by troop-trains, — such illuminations contin- 
ued night after night for weeks together, and 
the residents of each street further subscribed 
for flags and triumphal arches. 

But the glories of the war were celebrated 
also in ways more durable by the various great 
industries of the country. Victories and inci- 
dents of sacrificial heroism were commemo- 
rated in porcelain, in metal-work, and in 
costly textures, not less than in new designs 
for envelopes and note-paper. They were 
portrayed on the silk linings of haori^^ on 

1 Haoriy a sort of npper dres^ worn by men as well as 
women. The lining^ are often of designs beautiful beyond 


women's kerchiefs of chmmen,^ in the em- 
broidery of girdles, in tiie designs of silk 
shirte and of children's hoUday robes, - not to 
speak of cheaper printed goods, such as cali- 
coes and toweling. They were represented in 
lacquer-ware of many kinds, on the sides and 
covers of carven boxes, on tobacco-pouches, 
on sleeve-buttons, in designs for hairpins, on 
women's combs, even on chopsticks. Bundles 
of toothpicks in tiny cases were offered for 
sale, each toothpick having engraved upon it, 
in microscopic text, a different poem about 
the war. And up to the time of peace, or at 
least up to the time of the insane attempt by 
a aoshi^ to kill the Chinese plenipotentiary 

^ Chirimen is a crape-silk, of which there are many quali- 
ties ; some very costly and durable. 

^ Soshi form one of the modem curses of Japan. They 
are mostly ex-students who earn a living by hiring them- 
selves out as rowdy terrorists. Politicians employ them 
either against the soshi of opponents, or as bullies in elec- 
tion time. Private persons sometimes employ them as de- 
fenders. They have figured in most of the election rows 
which have taken place of late years in Japan, also in a 
number of assaults made on distinguished personages. The 
causes which produced nihilism in Russia have several 
points of resemblance with the causes which developed the 
modem soshi class in Japan. 


during negotiations, all things happened as 
the people had wished and expected. 

But as soon as the terms of peace had been 
announced, Bussia interfered, securing the 
help of France and Germany to bully Japan. 
The combination met with no opposition ; the 
government played jiujutsu, and foiled expec- 
tations by unlooked-for yielding. Japan had 
long ceased to feel uneasy about her own mili- 
tary power. Her reserve strength is probably 
much Greater than has ever been acknowledged, 
^ Z ed»»«onal ,jste»., ,i.h to tw.^ 
six thousand schools, is an enormous drilling- 
machine. On her own soil she could face any 
foreign power. Her navy was her weak point, 
and of this she was fully aware. It was a 
splendid fleet of small, light cruisers, and 
splendidly handled. Its admiral, without the 
loss of a single vessel, had annihilated the 
Chinese fleet in two engagements; but it was 
not yet sufficiently heavy to face the combined 
navies of three European powers; and the 
flower of the Japanese army was beyond the 
sea. The most opportune moment for inter- 
ference had been cunningly chosen, and prob- 


The heavy Russian battle-ships were stripped 
for fighting; and these alone could possibly 
have overpowered the Japanese fleet, though 
the victory would have been a costly one. But 
Bussian action was suddenly checked by the 
sinister declaration of EngUsh sympathy for 
Japan. Within a few weeks England could 
bring into Asiatic waters a fleet capable of 
crushing, in one short battle, aU the iron- 
clads assembled by the combination. And a 
single shot from a Russian cruiser might have 
plunged the whole world into war. 

But in the Japanese navy there was a furi- 
ous desire to battle with the three hostile 
powers at once. It would have been a great 
fight, for no Japanese commander would have 
dreamed of yielding, no Japanese ship would 
have struck her colors. The army was equally 
desirous of war. It needed all the firmness of 
the government to hold the nation back. Free 
speech was gagged; the press was severely 
silenced; and by the return to China of the 
Liao-Tung peninsula, in exchange for a com- 
pensatory increase of the war indemnity pre- 
viously exacted, peace was secured. The gov- 
ernment really acted with faultless wisdom. 


At tills period of Japanese development a 
costly war with Russia could not fail to have 
consequences the most disastrous to industry, 
commerce, and finance. But the national 
pride has been deeply wounded, and the conn- 


HYdoo, May 15. 

The Matsushima Kan, returned from China, 
is anchored before the Grarden of the Pleasure 
of Peace. She is not a colossus, though she 
has done grand things; but she certainly looks 
quite formidable as she lies there in the clear 
light, — a stone-gray fortress of steel rising 
out of the smooth blue. Permission to visit 
her has been given to the delighted people, 
who don their best for the occasion, as for a 
temple festival; and I am suffered to accom- 
pany some of them. All the boats in the port 
would seem to have been hired for the visit- 
ors, so huge is the shoal hovering about the 
ironclad as we arrive. It is not possible for 
such a number of sightseers to go on board 
at once; and we have to wait while hundreds 
are being alternately admitted and dismissed. 


But the waiting in the cool sea air is not un- 
pleasant; and the spectacle of the popular joy- 
is worth watching. What eager rushing when 
the turn comes ! what swarming and squeezing 
and clinging! Two women fall into the sea, 
and are pulled out by blue-jackets, and say 
they are not sorry to have fallen in, because 
they can now boast of owing their lives to the 
men of the Matsushima Kan! As a matter 
of fact, they could not very well have been 
drowned; there were legions of common boat- 
men to look after them. 

But something of larger importance to the 
nation than the lives of two young women is 
really owing to the men of the Matsushima 
Kan; and the people are rightly trying to pay 
them back with love, — for presents, such as 
thousands would like to make, are prohibited 
by disciplinary rule. Officers and crew must 
be weary; but the crowding and the ques- 
tioning are borne with charming amiabiUty. 
Everything is shown and explained in detal 
the huge tLiy-centimetre g^, with its load- 
ing apparatus and directing machinery; the 
quick-firing batteries; the torpedoes, with 
their impulse-tubes ; the electric lantern, with 


its searching mechanism. I myself, though a 
foreigner, and therefore requiring a special 
permit, am guided all about, both below and 
above, and am even suffered to take a peep 
at the portraits of their Imperial Majesties, 
in the admiral's cabin; and I am told the stir- 
ring story of the great fight off the Yalu. 
Meanwhile, the old bald men and the women 
and the babies of the port hold for one golden 
day command of the Matsushima. Officers, 
cadets, blue-jackets, spare no effort to please. 
Some talk to the grandfathers ; others let the 
children play with the hilts of their swords, or 
teach them how to throw up their little hands 
and shout " Teihohu Banzai I " And for 
tired mothers, matting has been spread, where 
they can squat down in the shade between 

Those decks, only a few months ago, were 
covered with the blood of brave men. Here 
and there dark stains, which still resist holy- 
stoning, are visible; and the people look at 
them with tender reverence. The flagship was 
twice struck by enormous shells, and her vul- 
nerable parts were pierced by a storm of small 
projectiles. She bore the bnmt of the engage- 


ment, losing nearly half her crew. Her ton- 
nage is only four thousand two hundred and 
eighty; and her immediate antagonists were 
two Chinese ironclads of seven thousand four 
hundred tons each. Outside, her cuirass 
shows no deep scars, for the shattered plates 
have been replaced; — but my guide points 
proudly to the numerous patchings of the 
decks, the steel malting supporting the fight- 
ing-tops, the smoke-stack, — and to certain 
terrible dents, with small cracks radiating 
from them, in the foot-thick steel of the bar- 
bette. He traces for us, below, the course 
of the thirty-and-a-half centimetre shell that 
pierced the ship. " "When it came," he tells 
us, "the shock threw men into the air that 
high " (holding his hand some two feet above 
the deck). "At the same moment all became 
dark; you could not see your hand. Then we 
found that one of the starboard forward guns 
had been smashed, and the crew all killed. We 
had forty men killed instantly, and many more 
wounded : no man escaped in that part of the 
ship. The deck was on fire, because a lot of 
ammunition brought up for the guns had ex- 
ploded; so we had to fight and to work to put 


out the fire at the same time. Eyen badly 
wounded men, with the skin blown from their 
hands and faces, worked as if they felt no 
pain; and dying men helped to pass water. 
But we silenced the Ting-yuen with one more 
shot from our big gun. The Chinese had 
European gunners helping them. If we had 
not had to fight against Western gunners, our 
victory vxyuld have been too easy.^^ 

He gives the true note. Nothing, on this 
splendid spring day, could so delight the men 
of the Matsushima Kan as a command to clear 
for action, and attack the great belted Bussian 
cruisers lying oflf the coast. 


Kob£, Jnne 9. 

Last year, while traveling from Shimo- 
noseki to the capital, I saw many regiments 
on their way to the seat of war, all uniformed 
in white ; for the hot season was not yet over. 
Those soldiers looked so much like students 
whom I had taught (thousands, indeed, were 
really fresh from school) that I could not help 
feeling it was cruel to send such youths to 
battle. The boyish faces were so frank, so 


cheerful, so seemingly innocent of the greater 
sorrows of lifel "Don't fear for them," said 
an English fellow-traveler, a man who had 
passed his life in camps; "they will give a 
splendid account of themselves." "I know 
it,*' was my answer; "but I am thinking of 
fever and frost and Manchurian winter: these 
are more to be feared than Chinese rifles." ^ 

The calling of the bugles, gathering the 
men together after dark, or signaling the hour 
of rest, had for years been one of the pleas- 
ures of my summer evenings in a Japanese 
garrison town. But during the months of 
war, those long, plaintive notes of the last call 
touched me in another way. I do not know 
that the melody is peculiar; but it was some- 
times played, I used to think, with peculiar 
feeling; and when uttered to the starlight by 
all the bugles of a division at once, the multi- 
tudinously blending tones had a melancholy 

^ The total number of Japanese aotnally killed in battle, 
from the fight at A-san to the capture of the Pescadores, was 
only 739. But the deaths resulting f fom other causes, up 
to as late a date as the 8th of June, during the occupation of 
Formosa, were 3,148. Of these, 1,602 were due to cholera 
alone. Such, at least, were the official figures as published 
in the KobS Chronicle. 



sweetness never to be forgotten. And I 
would dream of phantom buglers, summoning 
the youth and strength of hosts to the shadowy 
silence of perpetual rest. 

Con expremone I a voUmta. 

Well, to-day I went to see some of the regi- 
ments return. Arches of greenery had been 
erected over the street they were to pass 
through, leading from Kob^ station to Nanko- 
San, — the great temple dedicated to the hero 
spirit of Kusunoki Masashig^. The citizens 
had subscribed six thousand yen for the honor 
of serving the soldiers with the first meal 
after their return; and many battalions had 
already received such kindly welcome. The 
sheds under which they ate in the court of the 
temple had been decorated with flags and fes- 
toons; and there were gifts for all the troops, 
-— sweetmeats, and packages of cigarettes, and 


little towels printed with poems in praise of 
valor. Before the gate of the temple a really 
handsome trimnphal arch had been erected, 
bearing on each of its fa9ades a phrase of wel- 
come in Chinese text of gold, and on its sum- 
mit a terrestrial globe surmounted by a hawk 
with outspread pinions.^ 

I waited first, with Manyemon, before the 
station, which is very near the temple. The 
train arrived; a miKtary sentry ordered all 
spectators to quit the platform; and outside, 
in the street, police kept back the crowd, and 
stopped all traffic. After a few minutes, the 
battalions came, marching in regular column 
through the brick archway, — headed by a 
gray officer, who limped slightly as he walked. 
Slacking a cigarette. The crowd thickened 
about us; but there was no cheering, not even 
speaking, — a hush broken only by the meas- 

^ At the close of the great naval eng^agement of the 17th of 
Aifptember, 1894, a hawk alighted on the fighting-mast of the 
Japanese cruiser Takaohiho, and suffered itself to be taken 
and fed. After mnch petting, this bird of g^ood omen was 
presented to the Emperor. Falconry was a great f eadal sport 
in Japan, and hawks were finely trained. The hawk is now 
l^ely to become, more than ever before in Japan, a symbol 
o| victory. 


ured tramp of the passing troops. I could 
scarcely believe those were the same men I 
had seen going to the war; only the numbers 
on the shoulder-straps assured me of the fact. 
Sunburnt and grim the faces were; many had 
heavy beards. The dark blue winter uni- 
forms were frayed and torn, the shoes worn 
into shapelessness ; but the strong, swinging 
stride was the stride of the hardened soldier. 
Lads no longer these, but toughened men, able 
to face any troops in the world; men who had 
slaughtered and stormed; men who had also 
suffered many things which never will be writ- 
ten. The features showed neither joy nor 
pride; the quick-searching eyes hardly glanced 
at the welcoming flags, the decorations, the 
arch with its globe-shadowing hawk of battle, 
— perhaps because those eyes had seen too 
often the things which make men serious. 
(Only one man smiled as he passed; and I 
thought of a smile seen on the face of a 
Zouave when I was a boy, watching the return 
of a regiment from Africa, — a mocking smile, 
that stabbed.) Many of the spectators were 
visibly affected, feeling the reason of the 
ehange. But, for all that, the soldiers were 



better soldiers now; and they were going 
to find welcome, and comforts, and gifts, 
and the great warm love of the people, — 
and repose thereafter, in their old familiar 








r ir * " 

I said to Manyemon: "This evening they 
will be in Osaka and Nagoya. They will hear 
the bugles calling; and they will think of 
comrades who never can return." 

The old man answered, with simple ear- 
nestness: "Perhaps by Western people it is 
thought that the dead never return. But we 
cannot so think. There are no Japanese dead 
who do not return. There are none who do 


not know the way. From China and from 
Chosen, and out of the bitter sea, all our dead 
have come back, — aJlt They are with us 
now. In every dusk they gather to hear the 
bugles that called them home. And they will 
hear them also in that day when the armies 
of the Son of Heaven shall be summoned 
against Russia." 



Habu was brought up, chiefly at home, in 
that old-fashioned way which produced one of 
the sweetest types of woman the world has 
ever seen. This domestic education cultivated 
simplicity of heart, natural grace of manner, 
obedience, and love of duty as they were never 
cultivated but in Japan. Its moral product 
was something too gentle and beautiful for 
any other than the old Japanese society: it 
was not the most judicious preparation for the 
much harsher life of the new, — in which it 
still survives. The refined girl was trained 
for the condition of being theoretically at the 
mercy of her huband. She was taught never 
to show jealousy, or grief, or anger, — even 
under circumstances compelling all three; 
she was expected to conquer the faults of her 
lord by pure sweetness. In short, she was re- 
quired to be almost superhiunan, — to realize. 

110 HARU 

at least in outward seeming, the ideal of per- 
fect unselfishness. And this she could do 
with a husband of her own raok, deUcate in 
discernment, — able to divine her feelings, 
and never to wound them. 

Haru came of a much better family than 
her husband; and she was a little too good 
for him, because he could not really under- 
stand her. They had been married very 
young, had been poor at first, and then had 
gradually become weU-off, because Haru's hus- 
band was a clever man of business. Some- 
times she thought he had loved her most when 
they were less well off; and a woman is sel- 
dom mistaken about such matters. 

She stiU made all his clothes; and he com- 
mended her needle-work. She waited upon 
his wants; aided him to dress and undress; 
made everything comfortable for him in their 
pretty home; bade him a charming farewell 
as he went to business in the morning, and 
welcomed him upon his return; received his 
friends exquisitely; managed his household 
matters with wonderful economy; and seldom 
asked any favors that cost money. Indeed 
she scarcely needed such favors; for he was 

HARU 111 

never ungenerous, and liked to see her daintily 
dressed, — looking like some beautiful silver 
moth robed in the folding of its own wings, 

— and to take her to theatres and other 
places of amusement. She accompanied him 
to pleasure-resorts famed for the blossoming 
of cherry-trees in spring, or the shimmering of 
fireflies on smnmer nights, or the crimsoning 
of maples in autumn. And sometimes they 
would pass a day together at Maiko, by the 
sea, where the pines seem to sway like dancing 
girls; or an afternoon at Kiyomidzu, in the 
old, old sununer-house, where everything is 
like a dream of five hundred years ago, — and 
where there is a great ah^owing ;f high 
woods, and a song of water leaping cold and 
clear from caverns, and always the plaint of 
flutes unseen, blown softly in the antique way, 

— a tone-caress of peace and sadness blend- 
ing, just as the gold light glooms into blue 
over a dying sun. 

Except for such small pleasures and excur- 
sions, Haru went out seldom. Her only liv- 
ing relatives, and also those of her husband, 
were far away in other provinces; and she 
had few visits to make. She liked to be at 

112 HARU 

home, arranging flowers for the alcoves or for 
the gods, decorating the rooms, and feeding 
the tame gold-fish of the garden-pond, which 
would lift up their heads when they saw her 

No child had yet brought new joy or sor- 
row into her life. She looked, in spite of her 
wife's coiflEure, like a very young girl; and 
she was still simple as a child, — notwith- 
standing that business capacity in small things 
which her husband so admired that he often 
condescended to ask her counsel in big things. 
Perhaps the heart then judged for him better 
than the pretty head; but, whether intuitive 
or not, her advice never proved wrong. She 
was happy enough with him for five years,— 
during which time he showed himself as con- 
siderate as any young Japanese merchant 
could well be towards a wife of finer charac- 
ter than his own. 

Then his manner suddenly became cold, — 
so suddenly that she felt assured the reason 
was not that which a childless wife might 
have reason to fear. Unable to discover the 
real cause, she tried to persuade herself that 
she had been remiss in her duties; examined 

HARU 118 

her innocent conscience to no purpose; and 
tried very, very hard to please. But he re- 
mained unmoved. He spoke no unkind words, 
— though she felt behind his silence the re- 
pressed tendency to utter them. A Japanese 
of the better class is not very apt to be un- 
kind to his wife in words. It is thought to 
be vulgar and brutal. The educated man of 
normal disposition will even answer a wife's 
reproaches with gentle phrases. Common po- 
liteness, by the Japanese code, exacts this 
attitude from every manly man ; moreover, it 
is the only safe one. A refined and sensitive 
woman will not long submit to coarse treat- 
ment; a spirited one may even kill herself 
because of something said in a moment of 
passion, and such a suicide disgraces the hus- 
band for the rest of his life. But there are 
slow cruelties worse than words, and safer, — ^ 
neglect or indifference, for example, of a sort 
to arouse jealousy. A Japanese wife has in- 
deed been trained never to show jealousy; but 
the feeling is older than all training, — old as 
love, and likely to live as long. Beneath her 
passionless mask the Japanese wife feels like 
her Western sister, — just like that sister who 

114 HARU 

prays and prays, even wliile delighting some 
evening assembly of beauty and fashion, for 
the coming of the hour which will set her free 
to relieve her pain alone. 

Haru had cause for jealousy; but she was 
too much of a child to guess the cause at 
once; and her servants too fond of her to 
suggest it. Her husband had been accus- 
tomed to pass his evenings in her company, 
either at home or elsewhere. But now, even- 
ing after evening, he went out by himself. 
The first time he had given her some business 
pretexts; afterwards he gave none, and did 
not even tell her when he expected to return. 
Latterly, also, he had been treating her with 
silent rudeness. He had become changed, — 
"as if there was a goblin in his heart," — the 
servants said. As a matter of fact he had 
been deftly caught in a snare set for him. 
One whisper from a geisha had numbed his 
will; one smile blinded his eyes. She was 
far less pretty than his wife; but she was 
very skillful in the craft of spinning webs, — 
webs of sensual delusion which entangle weak 
men, and always tighten more and more about 
them until the final hour of mockery and 

HARU 116 

min. Ham did not know. She suspected 
no wrong till after her husband's strange con« 
duct had become habitual, — and even then 
only because she found that his money was 
passing into unknown hands. He had never 
told her where he passed his evenings. And 
she was afraid to ask, lest he should think 
her jealous. Instead of exposing her feelings 
in words, she treated him with such sweetness 
that a more intelligent husband would have 
divined all. But, except in business, he was 
dull. He continued to pass his evenings away ; 
and as his conscience grew feebler, his ab- 
sences lengthened. Haru had been taught 
that a good wife should always sit up and 
wait for her lord's return at night; and by 
so doing she suffered from nervousness, and 
from the feverish conditions that follow sleep- 
lessness, and from the lonesomeness of her 
waiting after the servants, kindly dismissed 
at the usual hour, had left her with her 
thoughts. Once only, returning very late, 
her husband said to her: "I am sorry you 
should have sat up so late for me; do not 
wait like that again!" Then, fearing he 
might really have been pained on her account, 

116 HARU 

she laughed pleasantly, and said: ^I was not 
sleepy, and I am not tired; honorably please 
not to think about me." So he ceased to 
tihink about her, — glad to take her at her 
word; and not long after that he stayed 
away for one whole night. The next night 
he did likewise, and a third night. After 
that third night's absence he failed even to 
return for the morning meal; and Haru knew 
the time had come when her duty as a wife 
obliged her to speak. 

She waited through all the morning hours, 
fearing for him, fearing for herself also; con- 
scious at last of the wrong by which a wo- 
man's heart can be most deeply wounded. 
Her faithful servants had told her something; 
the rest she could guess. She was very ill, 
and did not know it. She knew only that 
she was angry — selfishly angry, because of 
the pain given her — cruel, probing, sicken- 
ing pain. Midday came as she sat thinking 
how she could say least selfishly what it was 
now her duty to say, — the first words of re- 
proach that would ever have passed her lips. 
Then her heart leaped with a shock that made 
everything blur and swim before her sight in 

HARU 117 

a whirl of dizziness, — because there was a 
sound of kuiuma-wheels and the voice of a 
servant calling : " Honorable-retum-is ! " 

She struggled to the entrance to meet him, 
all her slender body a-tremble with fever and 

p»., .^ Wr /b*.,tag fl». pab. A^ 

the man was startled, because instead of greet- 
ing him with the accustomed smile, she caught 
the bosom of his silk robe in one quivering 
little hand, — and looked into his face with 
eyes that seemed to search for some shred of 
a soul, — and tried Jx) speak, but could utter 
only the single word, " Aiiata ? " ^ Almost in 
the same moment her weak grasp loosened, 
her eyes closed with a strange smile; and even 
before he could put out his arms to support 
her, she fell. He sought to lift her. But 
something in the delicate life had snapped. 
She was dead. 

There were astonishments, of course, and 
tears, and useless callings of her name, and 
much running for doctors. But she lay white 
and still and beautiful, all the pain and anger 
gone out of her face, and smiling as on her 
bridal day. 

1 "Thon?" 

118 HARU 

Two physicians came from the pubUc hos- 
piW. - jU« r.m^ ^. my 
asked straight hard questions, — questions 
that cut open the self of the man down to the 
core. Then they told him truth cold and 
sharp as edged steel, — and left him with his 

The people wondered he did not become a 
priest, — fair evidence that his conscience had 
been awakened. By day he sits among his 
bales of Kyoto silks and^Osaka figured goods, 
— earnest and silent. His clerks think him 
a good master; he never speaks harshly. Of- 
ten he works far into the night; and he has 
changed his dwelling-place. There are stran- 
gers in the pretty house where Haru lived ; and 
the owner never visits it. Perhaps because 
he might see there one slender shadow, still 
arranging flowers, or bending with iris-gra«e 
above the goldfish in his pond. But wher- 
ever he rest, sometime in the silent hours he 
must see the same soundless presence near his 
pillow, — sewing, smoothing, softly seeming 
to make beautiful the robes he once put on 
only to betray. And at other times — in the 

HARU 119 

busiest moments of his busy life — the clamor 
of the great shop dies; the ideographs of his 
ledger dim and vanish; and a plaintive little 
voice, which the gods refuse to silence, utters 
into the solitude of his heart, like a question, 
the single word, — '^Anata t " 



The foreign concession of an open port 
offers a striking contrast to its far-Eastern 
environment. In the well-ordered ugliness of 
its streets one finds suggestions of places not 
on this side of the world, — just as though 
fragments of the Occident had heen magi- 
cally brought oversea: bits of Liverpool, of 
Marseilles, of New York, of New Orleans, 
and bits also of tropical towns in colonies 
twelve or fifteen thousand miles away. The 
mercantile buildings — immense by comparison 
with the low light Japanese shops — seem to 
utter the menace of financial power. The 
dwellings, of every conceivable design — from 
that of an Indian bungalow to that of an Eng- 
lish or French country-manor, with turrets 
and bow-windows — are surrounded by com- 
monplace gardens of clipped shrubbery; the 


white roadways are solid and level as tables, 
and bordered with boxed-up trees. Nearly all 
things conventional in England or America 
have been domiciled in these districts. You 
see church-steeples and factory-chimneys and 
telegraph-poles and street-lamps. You see 
warehouses of imported brick with iron shut- 
ters, and shop fronts with plate-glass windows, 
and sidewalks, and cast-iron railings. There 
are morning and evening and weekly newspa- 
pers; clubs and reading-rooms and bowling 
alleys; billiard halls and barrooms; schools 
and bethels. There are electric-light and tele- 
phone companies; hospitals, courts, jails, and 
a foreign police. There are foreign lawyers, 
doctors, and druggists; foreign grocers, con- 
fectioners, bakers, dairymen; foreign dress- 
makers and tailors; foreign school-teachers 
and music-teachers. There is a town-hall, 
for municipal business and public meetings of 
all kinds, — likewise for amateur theatricals 
or lectures and concerts; and very rarely some 
dramatic company, on a tour of the world, 
halts there awhile to make men laugh and 
women cry like they used to do at home. 
There are cricket-grounds, racecourses, public 


parks, — or, as we should call them in Eng« 
land, "squares," — yachting associations, ath- 
letic societies, and swimming baths. Among 
the familiar noises are the endless tinkling of 
piano-practice, the crashing of a town-band, 
and an occasional wheezing of accordions : in 
fact, one misses only the orgau-grinder. The 
population is English, French, German, 
American, Danish, Swedish, Swiss, Russian, 
with a thin sprinkling of Italians and Levan- 
tines. I had almost forgotten the Chinese. 
They are present in multitude, and have a 
little corner of the district to themselves. But 
the dominant element is English and Ameri- 
can, — the English being in the majority. All 
the faults and some of the finer qualities of 
the masterful races can be studied here to 
better advantage than beyond seas, — because 
everybody knows all about everybody else in 
conunimities so small, — mere oases of Occi- 
dental life in the vast unknown of the Far 
East. Ugly stories may be heard which are 
not worth writing about; also stories of nobil- 
ity and generosity — about good brave things 
done by men who pretend to be selfish, and 
wear conventional masks to hide what is best 
in them from public knowledge. 


But the domains of the foreigner do not 
stretch beyond the distance of an easy walk, 
and may shrink back again into nothing be- 
fore many years — for reasons I shall pres- 
ently dwell upon. His settlements developed 
precociously, — almost like ^^ mushroom cities " 
in the great American West, — and reached 
the apparent limit of their development soon 
after soUdifying. 

About and beyond the concession, the ^^ na- 
tive town " — the real Japanese city — stretches 
away into regions impeZiy knln. To the 
average settler this native town remains a 
world of mysteries; he may not think it worth 
his while to enter it for ten years at a time. 
It has no interest for him, as he is not a stu- 
dent of native customs, but simply a man of 
business; and he has no time to think how 
queer it all is. Merely to cross the conces- 
sion line is almost the same thing as to cross 
the Pacific Ocean, — which is much less wide 
than the difference between the races. Enter 
alone into the interminable narrow maze of 
Japanese streets, and the dogs will bark at 
you, and the children stare at you as if you 
were the only foreigner they ever saw. Per* 


haps they will even call after yon ^^Ijin,'* 
"Tojin/' or "Ke-tojin,"— the last of which 
signifies ^^ hairy foreigner," and is not intended 
HB a compliment. 

For a long time the merchants of the con- 
cessions had their own way in everything, and 
forced upon the native firms methods of busi- 
ness to which no Occidental merchant would 
think of submitting, — methods which plainly 
expressed the foreign conviction that all Jap- 
anese were tricksters. No foreigner would 
then purchase anything until it had been long 
enough in his bauds to be examined aud reex- 
amined and "exhaustively" examined, — or 
accept any order for imports unless the order 
were accompanied by "a substantial payment 
of bargain money." ^ Japanese buyers and 
sellers protested in vain; they found them- 
selves obliged to submit. But they bided 
their time, — yielding only with the determi- 
nation to conquer. The rapid growth of the 
foreign town, and the immense capital sue- 

^ See cTqpofi Mail^ July 21, 1806. 


cessfully invested therein, proved to them 
how much they would have to learn before be- 
ing able to help themselves. They wondered 
without admiring, and traded with the foreign- 
ers or worked for them, while secretly detest- 
ing them. In old Japan the merchant ranked 
below the common peasant; but these foreign 
invaders assumed the tone of princes and the 
insolence of conquerors. As employers they 
were usually harsh, and sometimes brutal. 
Nevertheless they were wonderfully wise in 
the matter of making money; they lived like 
kings and paid high salaries. It was desir- 
able that young men should suffer in their 
service for the sake of learning things which 
would have to be learned to save the country 
from passing under foreign rule. Some day 
Japan would have a mercantile marine of her 
own, and foreign banking agencies, and for- 
eign credit, and be well able to rid herself of 
these haughty strangers: in the meanwhile 
they should be endured as teachers. 

So the import and export trade remained 
entirely in foreign hands, and it grew from 
nothing to a value of hundreds of millions; 
and Japan was well exploited. But she knew 


that she was only paying to learn; and her 
patience was of that kind which endures so 
long as to be mistaken for oblivion of inju- 
ries. Her opportunities came in the natural 
order of things. The growing influx of aliens 
seeking fortune gave her the first advantage. 
The intercompetition for Japanese trade broke 
down old methods; and new firms being glad 
to take orders and risks without ^^bargain- 
money," large advance-payments could no 
longer be exacted. The relations between 
foreigners and Japanese simultaneously im- 
proved, — as the latter showed a dangerous 
capacity for sudden combination against ill- 
treatment, could not be cowed by revolvers, 
would not suffer abuse of any sort, and knew 
how to dispose of the most dangerous rowdy 
in the space of a few minutes. Already the 
rougher Japanese of the ports, the dregs of 
the populace, were ready to assume the ag- 
gressive on the least provocation. 

Within two decades from the foimding of 
the settlements, those foreigners who once 
imagined it a mere question of time when the 
whole country would belong to them, began 
to understand how greatly they had underesti* 


mated the race. The Japanese had been 
learning wonderfully well — "nearly as well 
as the Chinese." They were supplanting the 
small foreign shopkeepers ; and various estab- 
lishments had been compelled to close because 
of Japanese competition. Even for large 
firms the era of easy fortime-making was over; 
the period of hard work was conunencing. In 
early days all the personal wants of foreigners 
had necessarily been supplied by foreigners, 
— so that a large retail trade had grown up 
under the patronage of the wholesale trade. 
The retail trade of the settlements was evi- 
dently doomed. Some of its branches had 
disappeared; the rest were visibly diminish- 

To-day the economic foreign clerk or as- 
sistant in a business house cannot well afford 
to live at the local hotels. He can hire a Jap- 
anese cook at a very small sum per month, or 
can have his meals sent him from a Japanese 
restaurant at five to seven sen per plate. He 
lives in a house constructed in "semi-foreign 
style," and owned by a Japanese. The car- 
pets or mattings on his floor are of Japanese 
manufacture. His furniture is supplied by a 


Japanese cabinet-maker. His suits, shirts, 
shoes, walking-cane, umbrella, are ^^ Japanese 
make": even the soap on his washstand is 
stamped with Japanese ideographs. If a 
smoker, he buys his Manilla cigars from a 
Japanese tobacconist half a dollar cheaper per 
box than any foreign house would charge him 
for the same quality. If he wants books he 
can buy them at much lower prices from a 
Japanese than from a foreign book dealer, — 
and select his purchases from a much larger 
and better-selected stock. If he wants a pho- 
tograph taken he 6:oes to a Japanese eallery: 
no foLgn photographer could make a Uv^g 
in Japan. If he wants curios he visits a Jap- 
anese house ; — the foreign dealer would charge 
him a hundred per cent, dearer. 

On the other hand, if he be a man of family, 
his daily marketing is supplied by Japanese 
butchers, fishmongers, dairymen, fruit-sellers, 
vegetable dealers. He may continue for a 
time to buy English or American hams, bacon, 
canned goods, etc., from some foreign provi- 
sion dealer; but he has discovered that Japan- 
ese stores now offer the same class of goods at 
lower prices. If he drinks good beer, it prob« 

ably comes from a Japanese breweiy; and if 

liquor, Japanese storekeepers can supply it at 
rates below those of the foreign importer. 
Indeed, the only things he cannot buy from 
the Japanese houses are just those things 
which he cannot afford,— high-priced goods 
such as only rich men are likely to purchase. 
And finally, if any of his family become 
sick, he can consult a Japanese physician who 
will charge him a fee perhaps one tenth less 
than he would have had to pay a foreign phy- 
sician in former times. FoLgn doctor now 
find it very hard to live, — unless they have 
something more than their practice to rely 
upon. Even when the foreign doctor brings 
down his fee to a dollar a visit, the high-class 
Japanese doctor can charge two, and still 
crush competition; for he furnishes the medi- 
cine himself at prices which would ruin a 
foreign apothecary. There are doctors and 
doctors, of course, as in all countries; but the 
German-speaking Japanese physician capable 
of directing a public or military hospital is 
not easily surpassed in his profession; and the 
average foreign physician cannot possibly com- 


pete with him. He famishes no prescriptions 
to be taken to a drugstore: his drugstore is 
either at home or in a room of the hospital he 

These facts, taken at random out of a mul- 
titude, imply that foreign shops, or as we call 
them in America, ^^ stores," will soon cease 
to be. The existence of some has been pro- 
longed only by needless and foolish trickery 
on the part of some petty Japanese dealers, 
— attempts to sell abominable decoctions in 
foreign bottles under foreign labels, to adul- 
terate imported goods, or to imitate trade- 
marks. But the common sense of the Japan- 
ese dealers, as a mass, is strongly opposed to 
such immorality, and the evil will soon correct 
itself. The native storekeepers can honestly 
undersell the foreign ones, because able not 
only to underlive them, but to make fortunes 
during the competition. 

This ha« been for some time well recognized 
in the concessions. But the delusion prevailed 
that the great exporting and importing firms 
were impregnable; that they could still con- 
trol the whole volume of commerce with the 


West; and that no Japanese companies could 
find means to oppose the weight of foreign 
capital, or to acquire the business methods ac- 
cording to which it was employed. Certainly 
the retail trade would go. But that signified 
little. The great firms would remain and 
multiply, and would increase their capacities. 


During all this tune of outward changes 
the real feeling between the races — the mu- 
tual dislike of Oriental and Occidental — had 
continued to grow. Of the nine or ten Eng- 
lish papers published in the open ports, the 
majority expressed, day after day, one side 
of this dislike, in the language of ridicule or 
contempt; and a powerful native press re- 
torted in kind, with dangerous effectiveness. 
If the ^^anti-Japanese" newspapers did not 
actually represent — as I believe they did — 
an absolute majority in sentiment, they repre- 
sented at least the weight of foreign capital, 
and the preponderant influences of the settle- 
ments. The English "pro- Japanese" news- 
papers, though conducted by shrewd men, 


and distinguished by journalistic abilities of 
no common order, could not appease the pow- 
erful resentment provoked by the language 
of their contemporaries. The charges of bar- 
barism or immorality printed in English 
were promptly answered by the publication 
in Japanese dailies of the scandals of the 
open ports, —for aU the miUions of the em- 
pire to know. The race question was car- 
ried into Japanese poUtics by a staong anti- 
foreign league; the foreign concessions were 
openly denounced as hotbeds of vice; and 
the national anger became so formidable that 
only the most determined action on the part 
of the government could have prevented dis- 
astrous happenmgs. Nevertheless oil was still 
poured on the smothered fire by foreign ed- 
itors, who at the outbreak of the war with 
China openly took the part of China. This 
policy was pursued throughout the campaign. 
Eeports of imaginary reverses were printed 
recklessly; undeniable victories were unjustly 
belittled; and after the war had been decided, 
the cry was raised that the Japanese ^'had 
been allowed to become dangerous." Later 
on, the interference of Eussia was applauded. 


and the sympathy of England condemned by 
men of English blood. The effect of such 
utterances at such a time was that of insult 
never to be forgiven upon a people who never 
forgive. Utterances of hate they were, but 
also utterances of alarm, — alarm excited by 
the signing of those new treaties, bringing 
all aliens under Japanese jurisdiction, — and 
fear, not ill-founded, of another anti-foreign 
agitation with the formidable new sense of 
national power behind it. Premonitory symp- 
toms of such agitation were really apparent in 
a general tendency to insult or jeer at for- 
eigners, and in some rare but exemplary acts 
of violence. The government again found it 
necessary to issue proclamations and warnings 
against such demonstrations of national anger; 
and they ceased almost as quickly as they 
began. But there is no doubt that their ces- 
sation was due largely to recognition of the 
friendly attitude of England as a naval power, 
and the worth of her policy to Japan in a 
moment of danger to the world's peace. Eng- 
land, too, had first rendered treaty-revision 
possible, — in spite of the passionate outcries 
of her own subjects in the Far East; and the 


leaders of the people were grateful. Other- 
wise the hatred between settlers and Japanese 
might have resulted quite as badly as had 
been feared. 

In the beginning, of course, this mutual 
antagonism was racial, and therefore natu- 
ral; and the irrational violence of prejudice 
and malignity developed at a later day was 
inevitable with the ever-increasing conflict of 
interests. No foreigner really capable of es- 
timating the conditions could have seriously 
entertained any hope of a rapprochement. 
The barriers of racial feeling, of emotional 
differentiation, of language, of manners and 
beliefs, are likely to remain insurmountable 
for centuries. Though instances of warm 
friendship, due to the mutual attraction of 
exceptional natures able to divine each other 
intuitively, might be cited, the foreigner, as a 
general rule, understands the Japanese quite 
as little as the Japanese understands him. 
What is worse for the alien than miscompre- 
hension is the simple fact that he is in the 
position of an invader. Under no ordinary 
circumstances need he expect to be treated 
like a Japanese; and this not merely be- 


cause he has more money at his command, 
but because of his race. One price for the 
foreigner, another for the Japanese, is the 
common regulation, — except in those Japan- 
ese stores which depend abnost exclusively 
upon foreign trade. H you wish to enter a 
Japanese theatre, a figure-show, any place of 
amusement, or even an inn, you must pay a 
virtual tax upon your nationality. Japanese 
artisans, kborers, clerks, wiU not work for 
you at Japanese rates — unless they have some 
other object in view than wages. Japanese 
hotel-keepers — except in those hotels built 
and furnished especially for European or 
American travelers — will not make out your 
bill at regular prices. Large hotel-companies 
have been formed which maintain this rule, 
— companies controlling scores of establish- 
ments throughout the country, and able to 
dictate terms to local storekeepers and to the 
smaller hostelries. It has been generously 
confessed that foreigners ought to pay higher 
than Japanese for accommodation, since they 
give more trouble ; and this is true. But un- 
der even these facts race-feeling is manifest. 
Those innkeepers who build for Japanese cus- 


torn only, in the great centres, care nothing for 
foreign custom, and often lose by it, — partly 
because well-paying native guests do not like 
hotels patronized by foreigners, and partly 
because the Western guest wants all to him- 
self the room which can be rented more prof- 
itably to a Japanese party of five or eight. 
Another fact not generally understood in con- 
nection with this is that in Old Japan the 
question of recompense for service was left to 
honor. The Japanese innkeeper always sup- 
plied (and in the country often still supplies) 
food at scarcely more than cost; and his real 
profit depended upon the conscience of the cus- 
tomer. Hence the importance of the chadai, 
or present of tea-money, to the hotel. From 
the poor a very small sum, from the rich a 
larger sum, was expected, — according to ser- 
vices rendered. In like manner the hired 
servant expected to be remimerated according 
to his master's ability to pay, even more than 
according to the value of the work done ; the 
artist preferred, when working for a good 
patron, never to name a price : only the mer- 
chant tried to get the better of his customers 
by bargaining, — the immoral privilege of his 


dass. It may be readily imagined that the 
habit of trusting to honor for payment pro- 
duced no good results in dealing with Occi- 
dentals. All matters of buying and selling 
we think of as ^^ business"; and business in 
the West is not conducted under purely ab- 
stract ideas of morality, but at best under 
relative and partial ideas of morality. A 
generous man extremely dislikes to have the 
price of an article which he wants to buy left 
to his conscience; for, unless he knows exactly 
the value of the material and the worth of the 
labor, he feels obliged to make such over- 
payment as will assure him that he has done 
more than right; while the selfish man takes 
advantage of the situation to give as nearly 
next to nothing as he can. Special rates have 
to be made, therefore, by the Japanese in all 
dealings with foreigners. But the dealing 
itself 18 made more or less aggressive, accord- 
ing to circumstance, because of race antago- 
nism. The foreigner has not only to pay higher 
rates for every kind of skilled labor; but must 
sign costlier leases, and submit to higher 
rents. Only the lowest class of Japanese ser- 
vants can be hired even at high wages by a 


foreign household; and their stay is usually 
brief, as they dislike the service required of 
them. Even the apparent eagerness of edu- 
cated Japanese to enter foreign employ is 
generally misunderstood; their veritable pur- 
pose being simply, in most cases, to fit them- 
selves for the same sort of work in Japanese 
business houses, stores, and hotels. The aver- 
age Japanese would prefer to work fifteen 
hours a day for one of his own countrymen 
than eight hours a day for a foreigner pay- 
ing higher wages. I have seen graduates of 
the university working as servants ; but they 
were working only to learn special things. 



Beally the dullest foreigner could not have 
believed that a people of forty millions, uniting 
all their energies to achieve absolute national 
independence, would remain content to leave 
the management of their country's import and 
export trade to aliens, — especially in view of 
the feeling in the open ports. The existence 
of foreign settlements in Japan, under consu- 
lar jurisdiction, was in itself a constant exas-* 


peration to national pride, — an indication of 
national weakness. It had so been proclaimed 
in print, — in speeches by members of the 
anti-foreign league, — in speeches made in 
parliament. But knowledge of the national 
desire to control the whole of Japanese com- 
merce, and the periodical manifestations of 
hostility to foreigners as settlers, excited only 
temporary uneasiness. It was confidently as- 
serted that the Japanese could only injure 
themselves by any attempt to get rid of for- 
eign negotiators. Though alarmed at the 
prospect of being brought imder Japanese 
law, the merchants of the concessions never 
imagined a successful attack upon large inter- 
ests possible, except by violation of that law 
itself. It signified little that the Nippon 
Yusen Kwaisha had become, during the war, 
one of the largest steamship companies in 
the world; that Japan was trading directly 
with India and China ; that Japanese banking 
agencies were being established in the great 
manufacturing centres abroad; that Japanese 
merchants were sending their sons to Europe 
and America for a sound commercial educa- 
tion. Because Japanese lawyers were gain- 


ing a large foreign clientele; because Japanese 
shipbuilders, architects, engineers had replaced 
foreigners in government service, it did not 
at all follow that the foreign agents control- 
ling the import and export trade with Europe 
and America could be dispensed with. The 
machinery of commerce would be useless in 
Japanese hands; and capacity for other pro- 
fessions by no means augured latent capacity 
for business. The foreign capital invested in 
Japan could not be successfully threatened by 
any combinations formed against it. Some 
Japanese houses might carry on a small im- 
port business; but the export trade required 
a thorough knowledge of business conditions 
on the other side of the world, and such con- 
nections and credits as the Japanese could 
not obtain. Nevertheless the self-confidence 
of the foreign importers and exporters was 
rudely broken in July, 1895, when a British 
house having brought suit against a Japanese 
company in a Japanese court, for refusal to 
accept delivery of goods ordered, and having 
won a judgment for nearly thirty thousand 
dollars, suddenly found itself confronted and 
menaced by a guild whose power had never 


been suspected. The Japanese firm did not 
appeal against the decision of the court: it 
expressed itself ready to pay the whole sum 
at once — if required. But the guild to which 
it belonged informed the trinmphant plain- 
tiffs that a compromise would be to their ad- 
vantage. Then the English house discovered 
itself threatened with a boycott which could 
utterly ruin it, — a boycott operating in aU 
the industrial centres of the Empire. The 
compromise was promptly effected at consid- 
erable loss to the foreign firm; and the set- 
tlements were dismayed. There was much 
denunciation of the LnoraUty of the pro- 
ceeding.^ But it was a proceeding against 
which the law could do nothing ; for boycot- 
ting cannot be satisfactorily dealt with under 
law; and it afforded proof positive that the 
Japanese were able to force foreign firms to 
submit to their dictation, — by foul means if 

^ A Kob^ mercluuit of g^reat experience, vritiiig to the 
Kdbi Chronicle of Aug^t 7, 1895, observed : — "I am not 
attempting to defend boycotts ; but I firmly belieye from 
what has come to my knowledge that in each and every case 
there has been provocation irritating the Japanese, ronmng 
their feeling^ and their sense of justice, and driving them to 
tombination as a defense." 


^ 9u.r. K^riuous guilds had been or- 

>v tJw great industries, — combina- 

^jic^» move*, jwrfectly regulated by tele- 

^jb^ c^Hilil ruin opposition, and could set at 

tfuakiuv* ovca Uh^ judgment of tribunals. The 

hn^ attempted boycotting in previ- 

y^^-A with so little success that they were 

.^aimJ OH^lwible of combination. But the 

^.^ aJtuatiou showed how well they had 

'^*^ Ihrough defeat, and that with further 

.j^yiu^v^tuoiit of organization they could rea- 

j^j^i^jiibJ^y t\xpect to get the foreign trade under 

v>^l«^J« — if ^^* i^*^ their own hands. It 

^^^uUl l>e tlie next great step toward the real- 

^ililitui of the national desire, — Japan only 

^ thti Japanese. Even though the country 

4iiHild be opened to foreign settlement, for- 

^igi\ investments would always be at the 

uioroy of Japanese combinations. 

The foregoing brief accoimt of existing con^ 
ditions may su£Bce to prove the evolution in 
Japan of a social phenomenon of great sig- 
nificance. Of course the prospective opening 


of the country under new treaties, the rapid 
development of its industries, and the vast 
annual increase in the volume of trade with 
America and Europe, will probably bring 
about some increase of foreign settlers; and 
this temporary result might deceive many as 
to the inevitable drift of things. But old 
merchants of experience even now declare 
that the probable further expansion of the 
ports will really mean the growth of a native 
competitive commerce that must eventually 
dislodge foreign merchants. The foreign 
settlements, as communities, will disappear: 
there will remain only some few great agen- 
cies, such as exist in all the chief ports of 
the civilized world; and the abandoned streets 
of the concessions, and the costly foreign 
houses on the heights, will be peopled and 
tenanted by Japanese. Large foreign invest- 
ments will not be made in the interior. And 
even Christian mission -work must be left 
to native missionaries; for just as Buddhism 
never took definite form in Japan until the 
teaching of its doctrines was left entirely to 
Japanese priests, — so Christianity will never 
take any fixed shape till it has been so re- 


leaders of the people were grateful. Other- 
wise the hatred between settlers and Japanese 
might have resulted quite as badly as had 
been feared. 

In the beginning, of course, this mutual 
antagonism was racial, and therefore natu- 
ral; and the irrational violence of prejudice 
and malignity developed at a later day was 
inevitable with the ever-increasing conflict of 
interests. No foreigner really capable of es- 
timating the conditions could have seriously 
entertained any hope of a rapprochement. 
The barriers of racial feeling, of emotional 
differentiation, of language, of manners and 
beliefs, are likely to remain insurmountable 
for centuries. Though instances of warm 
friendship, due to the mutual attraction of 
exceptional natures able to divine each other 
intuitively, might be cited, the foreigner, as a 
general rule, understands the Japanese quite 
as little as the Japanese understands him. 
What is worse for the alien than miscompre- 
hension is the simple fact that he is in the 
position of an invader. Under no ordinary 
circumstances need he expect to be treated 
like a Japanese; and this not merely be« 


eause he has more money at his command, 
but because of his race. One price for the 
foreigner, another for the Japanese, is the 
common regulation, — except in those Japan- 
ese stores which depend ahnost exclusively 
upon foreign trade. If you wish to enter a 
Japanese theatre, a figure-show, any place of 
amusement, or even an inn, you must pay a 
virtual tax upon your nationality. Japanese 
artisans, laborers, clerks, will not work for 
you at Japanese rates — unless they have some 
other object in view than wages. Japanese 
hotel-keepers — except in those hotels built 
and furnished especially for European or 
American travelers — will not make out your 
bill at regular prices. Large hotel-companies 
have been formed which maintain this rule, 
— companies controlling scores of establish- 
ments throughout the country, and able to 
dictate terms to local storekeepers and to the 
smaller hostelries. It has been generously 
confessed that foreigners ought to pay higher 
than Japanese for accommodation, since they 
give more trouble ; and this is true. But un- 
der even these facts race-feeling is manifest. 
Those innkeepers who build for Japanese cus- 

leaders of the people were grateful. Other- 
wise the hatred between settlers and Japanese 
might have resulted quite aa badly as bad 
been feared. 

In the beginning, of course, this mutual 
antagonism was racial, and therefore natu- 
ral; and the irrational violence of prejudice 
and malignity developed at a later day was 
inevitable with the ever-increaaing conflict of 
interests. No foreigner reaUy capable of es- 
timating the conditions could have seriously 
entertained any hope of a rapprocTiement. 
The barriers of racial feeling, of emotional 
differentiation, of language, of manners and 
beliefs, are likely to remain insurmountable 
for centuries. Though instances of warm 
friendship, due to the mutual attraction of 
exceptional natures able to divine each other 
intuitively, might be cited, the foreigner, as a 
general rule, understands the Japanese quite 
as little as the Japanese understands J 
What is worse^^^e alien than miso 
hension is t^^^Hfe fact tliat lie i 
position of ^^^^^p- Und«r j 
like a Jan 


eause he has more money at his command, 
but because of his race. One price for the 
foreigner, another for the Japanese, is the 
common regulation, — except in those Japan- 
ese stores which depend ahnost exclusively 
upon foreign trade. If you wish to enter a 
Japanese theatre, a figure-show, any place of 
amusement, or even an inn, you must pay a 
virtual tax upon your nationality. Japanese 
artisans, laborers, clerks, will not work for 
you at Japanese rates — unless they have some 
other object in view than wages. Japanese 
hotel-keepers — except in those hotels built 
and furnished especially for European or 
American travelers — wlQ not make out your 
bill at regular prices. Large hotel-companies 
have been formed which maintain this rule, 
— companies controlling scores of establish- 
ments throughout the country, and able to 
dictate terms to local storekeepers and to the 
smaller hostelries. It has been generously 
eonfessed that foreigners ought to pay higher 
flmi Japanese for accommodation, since they 
trouble; and this is true. But un- 
lets race-feeling is manifest. 
who build for Japanese cus- 


crease — which proves of course, among other 
things, that the struggle for existence has been 
intensified. The old standard of chastity, as 
represented in public opinion, was that of a 
less developed society than our own ; yet I do 
not believe it can be truthfully asserted that 
the moral conditions were worse than with us. 
In one respect they were certainly better; for 
the virtue of Japanese wives was generally in 
all ages above suspicion.^ If the morals of 

^ The statement has been made that there is no word for 
chastity in the Japanese language. This is true in the 
same sense only that we might say there is no word for 
chastity in the English langpiage, — because such words as 
honor, Yirtue, purity, chastity have been adopted into Eng. 
lish from other languages. Open any good Japanese-Eng- 
lish dictionary and you will find many words for chastity. 
Just as it would be ridiculous to deny that the word ^* chas- 
tity" is modem English, because it came to us through the 
French from the Latin, so it is ridiculous to deny that Chi- 
nese moral terms, adopted into the Japanese tongue more 
than a thousand years ago, are Japanese to-day. The state- 
ment, like a majority of missionary statements on these sub- 
jects, is otherwise misleading ; for the reader is left to infer 
the absence of an adjectiye as well as a noun, — and the 
purely Japanese adjectiyes signifying chaste are numerous. 
The word most commonly used applies to both sexes, — and 
has the old Japanese sense of firm, strict, resisting, honor- 
able. The deficiency of abstract terms in a language by no 


men were much more open to reproach, it is 
not necessary to cite Lecky for evidence as 
to whether a much better state of things pre- 
vails in the Occident. Early marriages were 
encouraged to guard young men from temp- 
tations to irregular life; and it is only fair to 
suppose that in a majority of cases this result 
was obtained. Concubinage, the privilege of 
the rich, had its evil side; but it had also the 
effect of relieving the wife from the physical 
strain of rearing many children in rapid suc- 
cession. The social conditions were so differ- 
ent from those which Western religion assumes 
to be the best possible, that an impartial judg- 
ment of them cannot be ecclesiastical. One 
fact is indisputable, — that they were unfa- 
vorable to professional vice; and in many of 
the larger fortified towns, — the seats of 
princes, — no houses of prostitution were suf- 
fered to exist. When all things are fairly 
considered, it will be found that Old Japan 
might claim, in spite of her patriarchal sys- 
tem, to have been less open to reproach even 

means implies the deficiency of concrete moral ideas, — a 
fact which has been yainly pointed out to missionaries more 
than once. 


in the matter of sexual morality than many a 
Western coimtry. The people were better 
than their laws asked them to be. And now 
that the relations of the sexes are to be regu- 
lated by new codes, — at a time when new 
codes are really needed, — the changes which 
it is desirable to bring about cannot result in 
immediate good. Sudden reforms are not 
made by legislation. Laws cannot directly 
create sentiment; and real social progress can 
be made only through change of ethical feeling 
developed by long discipUne and training. 
Meanwhile increasing pressure of population 
and increasing competition must tend, while 
quickening intelligence, to harden character 
and develop selfishness. 

Intellectually there will doubtless be great 
progress, but not a progress so rapid as those 
who think that Japan has really transformed 
herself in thirty years would have us believe. 
However widely diffused among the people, 
scientific education cannot immediately raise 
the average of practical intelligence to the 
Western level. The common capacity must 
remain lower for generations. There will 


be plenty of remarkable exceptions, indeed; 
and a new aristocracy of intellect is coming 
into existence. But the real future of the 
nation depends rather upon the general capa- 
city of the many than upon the exceptional 
capacity of the few. Perhaps it depends es- 
pecially upon the development of the math- 
ematical faculty, which is being everywhere 
assiduously cultivated. At present this is the 
weak point; hosts of students being yearly 
debarred from the more important classes of 
higher study through inability to pass in math- 
ematics. At the Imperial naval and military 
colleges, however, such results have been ob- 
tained as suffice to show that this weakness 
will eventually be remedied. The most diffi- 
cult branches of scientific study will become 
less formidable to the children of those who 
have been able to distinguish themselves in 
such branches. 

In other respects, some temporary retro- 
gression is to be looked for. Just so certainly 
as Japan has attempted that which is above 
the normal limit of her powers, so certainly 
must she fall back to that limit, — or, rather, 


below it. Such retrogression will be natural 
as well as necessary: it will mean nothing 
more than a recuperative preparation for 
stronger and loftier efforts. Signs of it are 
even now visible in the working of certain 
state-departments, — notably in that of edu- 
cation. The idea of forcing upon Oriental 
students a course of study above the average 
capacity of Western students; the idea of 
making English the language, or at least one 
of the languages of the country; and the idea 
of changing ancestral modes of feeling and 
thinking for the better by such training, were 
wild extravagances. Japan must develop her 
own soul: she cannot borrow another. A 
dear friend whose life has been devoted to 
philology once said to me while commenting 
upon the deterioration of manners among the 
students of Japan : " Why^ the English Ian- 
guage itself has been a demoralizing influ- 
ence 1 " There was much depth in that obser- 
vation. Setting the whole Japanese nation 
to study English (the language of a people 
who are being forever preached to about their 
"rights," and never about their "duties") 
was almost an imprudence. The policy was 


too wholesale as well as too sudden. It in- 
Yolved great waste of money and time, and it 
helped to sap ethical sentiment. In the future 
Japan will learn English, just as England 
learns German. But if this study has been 
wasted in some directions, it has not been 
wasted in others. The influence of -English 
has effected modifications in the native tongue, 
making it richer, more flexible, and more ca- 
pable of expressing the new forms of thought 
created by the discoveries of modem science. 
This influence must long continue. There 
wiU be a considerable absorption of English 

— perhaps also of French and German words 

— into Japanese: indeed this absorption is 
already marked in the changing speech of the 
educated classes, not less than in the collo- 
quial of the ports which is mixed with curious 
modifications of foreign commercial words. 
Furthermore, the grammatical structure of 
Japanese is being influenced; and though I 
cannot agree with a clergyman who lately 
declared that the use of the passive voice by 
Tokyo street-urchins announcing the fall of 
Port Arthur — Q*' Rycjunho ga aenryo sero- 
reta I ") — represented the working of " divine 


providence,"! do think it afforded some proof 
that the Japanese language, assimilative like 
the genius of the race, is showing capacity 
to meet all demands made upon it by the new 

Perhaps Japan wiU remember her foreign 
teachers more kindly in the twentieth century. 
But she will never feel toward the Occident, 
as she felt toward China before the Meiji era, 
the reverential respect due by ancient custom 
to a beloved instructor; for the wisdom of 
China was voluntarily sought, while that of 
the West was thrust upon her by violence. 
She will have some Christian sects of her own ; 
but she will not remember our American and 
English missionaries as she remembers even 
now those great Chinese priests who once 
educated her youth. And she will not pre- 
serve relics of our sojourn, carefully wrapped 
in septuple coverings of silk, and packed away 
in dainty whitewood boxes, because we had 
no new lesson of beauty to teach her, — no« 
thing by which to appeal to her emotions. 


** The face of the beloyed and the face of the risen mm 
eannot be looked at." — c/qpanese Proverb, 

MoDEBN science assures us that the passion 
of first love, so far as the individual may be 
concerned, is ''absolutely antecedent to all 
relative experience whatever."^ In other 
words, that which might well seem to be the 
most strictly personal of all feelings, is not an 
individual matter at all. Philosophy discov- 
ered the same fact long ago, and never theo- 
rized more attractively than when trying to 
explain the mystery of the passion. Science, 
so far, has severely limited itself to a few sng" 
gestions on the subject. This seems a pity, 
because the metaphysicians could at no time 
give properly detailed explanations, — whether 

^ Herbert Spenoer, Principles of Psychology : '* The Feek 


teaching that the first sight of the beloved 
quickens in the soul of the lover some dor- 
mant prenatal remembrance of divine truth, 
or that the illusion is made by spirits un- 
born seeking incarnation. But science and 
philosophy both agree as to one all-important 
fact, — that the lovers themselves have no 
choice, that they are merely the subjects 
of an influence. Science is even the more 
positive on this point: it states quite plainly 
that the dead, not the living, are responsible. 
There would seem to be some sort of ghostly 
remembrance in first loves. It is true that 
science, imlike Buddhism, does not declare 
that under particular conditions we may begin 
to recollect our former lives. That psychol- 
ogy which is based upon physiology even de- 
nies the possibility of memory-inheritance in 
this individual sense. But it allows that some- 
thing more powerful, though more indefinite, 
is inherited, —the sum of ancestral memories 
incalculable, — the sum of countless billions 
of trillions of experiences. Thus can it inter- 
pret our most enigmatical sensations, — our 
ooKiflicting impulses, — our strangest intui- 
tions; all those seemingly irrational attrao- 


tions or repukions, — all those vague sad- 
nesses or joys, never to be accounted for by 
individual experience. But it has not yet 
found leisure to discourse much to us about 
first love, — although first love, in its relation 
to the world invisible, is the very weirdest of 
all human feelings, and the most mysterious. 

In our Occident the riddle runs thus. To 
the growing youth, whose life is normal and 
vigorous, there comes a sort of atavistic period 
in which he begins to feel for the feebler sex 
that primitive contempt created by mere con- 
sciousness of physical superiority. But it is 
just at the time when the society of girls has 
grown least interesting to him that he sud- 
denly becomes insane. There crosses his life- 
path a maiden never seen before, — but little 
different from other daughters of men, — not 
at all wonderful to common vision. At the 
same instant, with a single surging shock, the 
blood rushes to his heart; and all his senses 
are bewitched. Thereafter, till the madness 
ends, his life belongs wholly to that new-f ounol 
being, of whom he yet knows nothmg, ex. 
cept that the sun's light seems more beautiful 
when it touches her. From that glamour no 


mortal science can disenthrall him. But whose 
the witchcraft? Is it any power in the living 
idol? No, psychology tells ns that it is the 
power of the dead within the idolater. The 
dead cast the spell. Theirs the shock in the 
lover's heart; theirs the electric shiver that 
tingled through his veins at the first touch of 
one girl's hand. 

But why they should want Aer, rather than 
any other, is the deeper part of the riddle. 
The solution ofEered by the great German 
pessimist will not harmonize well with scien- 
tific psychology. The choice of the dead, 
evolutionally considered, would be a choice 
based upon remembrance rather than on pre- 
science. And the enigma is not cheerful. 

There is, indeed, the romantic possibility 
that they want her because there survives in 
her, as in some composite photograph, the 
suggestion of each and all who loved them in 
the past. But there is the possibility also 
that they want her because there reappears in 
her something of the multitudinous charm of 
all the women they loved in vain. 

Assuming the more nightmarish theory, 
we should believe that passion, though buried 


again and again, can neither die nor rest. 
They who have vainly loved only seem to die; 
they really live on in generations of hearts, 
that their desire may be fulfilled. They wait, 
perhaps through centuries, for the reincarna- 
tion of shapes beloved, — forever weaving 
into the dreams of youth their vapory com- 
posite of memories. Hence the ideals unat- 
tainable, — the haunting of troubled souls by 
the Woman-never-to-be-known. 

In the Far East thoughts are otherwise; 
and what I am about to write concerns the 
interpretation of the Lord Buddha. 


A priest died recently under very peculiar 
circumstances. He was the priest of a tem- 
ple, belonging to one of the older Buddhist 
sects, in a village near Osaka. (You can see 
that temple from the Kwan-Setsu Railway, as 
you go by train to Kyoto.) 

He was young, earnest, and extremely 
handsome — very much too handsome for a 
priest, the women said. He looked like one 
of those beautiful figures of Amida made by 
the great Buddhist statuaries of other days. 


The men of his parish thought him a pure 
and learned priest, in which they were right. 
The women did not think about his virtue or 
his learning only: he possessed the unfortu- 
nate power to attract them, independently of 
his own will, as a mere man. He was ad- 
mired by them, and even by women of other 
parishes also, in ways not holy; and their 
admiration interfered with his studies and 
disturbed his meditations. They found irre- 
proachable pretexts for visiting the temple 
at all hours, just to look at him and talk to 
hun; askmg questions which it was his duty 
to answer, and making religious offerings 
which he could not well refuse. Some would 
ask questions, not of a religious kind, that 
caused him to blush. He was by nature too 
gentle to protect himself by severe speech, 
even when forward girls from the city said 
things that country-girls never would have 
said, — things that made him tell the speakers 
to leave his presence. And the more he 
shrank from the admiration of the timid, or 
the adulation of the unabashed, the more the 
persecution increased, till it became the tor- 
ment of his life.^ 

^ AotoKB in J^an often exercise a similar f ascinatiofl 


His parents liad long been dead; he had no 
worldly ties : he loved only his calling, and the 
studies belonging to it; and he did not wish 
to think of foolish and forbidden things. His 
extraordinary beauty — the beauty of a living 
idol — was only a misfortune. Wealth was 
offered him under conditions that he could 
not even discuss. Girls threw themselves 
at his feet, and prayed him in vain to love 
them. Love-letters were constantly being sent 
to him, letters which never brought a reply. 
Some were written in that classical enigmatic 
style which speaks of "the Eock-Pillow of 
Meeting," and "waves on the shadow of a 
face," and "streams that part to reunite." 
Others were artless and frankly tender, full of 
the pathos of a girl's first confession of love. 

For a long time such letters left the young 
priest as unmoved, to outward appearance, as 
any image of that Buddha in whose likeness 
he seemed to have been made. But, as a 
matter of fact, he was not a Buddha, but only 
a weak man; and his position wa* trying. 

upon sensitiye grirls of the lower classes, and often take 
cruel advantage of the power so gained. It is very rarely, 
indeed, that such fascination can be exerted by a priest. 


One evening there came to the temple a 
little boy who gave him a letter, whispered 
the name of the sender, and ran away in the 
dark. According to the subsequent testimony 
of an acolyte, the priest read the letter, re- 
stored it to its envelope, and placed it on the 
matting, beside his kneeling cushion. After 
remaining motionless for a long time, as if 
buried in thought, he sought his writing-box, 
wrote a letter himself, addressed it to his 
spiritual superior, and left it upon the writing- 
stand. Then he consulted the clock, and a 
railway time-table in Japanese. The hour 
was early; the night windy and dark. He 
prostrated himself for a moment in prayer 
before the altar; then hurried out into the 
blackness, and reached the railway exactly 
in time to kneel down in the middle of the 
track, facing the roar and rush of the express 
from Kob^. And, in another moment, those 
who had worshiped the strange beauty of the 
man would have shrieked to see, even by lan- 
tern-light, all that remained of his poor earth- 
liness, smearing the iron way. 

The letter written to his superior was found. 


It contained a bare statement to the effect tJiat, 
feeling his spiritual strength departing from 
him, he had resolved to die in order that he 
might not sin. 

The other letter was still lying where he 
had left it on the floor, — a letter written in 
that woman-language of which every syllable 
is a little caress of humility. Like all such 
letters (they are never sent through the post) 
it contained no date, no name, no initial, and 
its envelope bore no address. Into our in- 
comparably harsher English speech it might 
be imperfectly rendered as follows : — 

To take such freedom may he to assume 
overmuch ; yet I fed that I must speak to 
yoUy and therefore send this letter. As for 
my lowly sdf I have to say ordy that when 
first seeing you in the period of the Festi- 
val of the Further JShore^ I began to think ; 
and that since then I have notj even for a 
moment^ been able to forget. More and more 
each day I sink into that ever-growing thought 
of you; and when I sleep I dream; and 
when^ awaking and seeing you not^ I remem- 
ber there was no truth in my thoughts of the 


nighti lean do nothing hut weep. Forgive 
me thaty having been born into this world a 
woman, laJumld utter my wish for the exceed- 
ing favor of being found not hateful to one 
80 high. Foolish and without delicacy I may 
seem in allowing my heart to be thus tortured 
by the thought of one so far above me. But 
only because knowing that I cannot restrain 
my heart, out of the depth of it I have suf- 
fered these poor words to come, that I may 
write them with my unshUlful brush, and send 
them to you. I pray that you will deem me 
worthy of pity ; I beseech that you will not 
send me cruel words in return. Compassion- 
ate me, seeing that this is but the overflow- 
ing of my humble feelings ; deign to divine 
and justly to judge, — be it only with the least 
of kindliness, — this heart that, in its great 
distress alone, so ventures to address you. 
Each moment I shall hope and wait for some 
gladdening answer. 

Concerning all things fortunate, feUcita' 

To-day^ — 
from the honorably-known, 
to the longed-for, beloved^ august one, 
this letter goes. 




I called upon a Japanese friend, a Bud* 
dbist scholar, to ask some questions about the 
religious aspects of the incident. Even as a 
confession of human weakness, that siucide 
appeared to me a heroism. 

It did not so appear to my friend. He 
spoke words of rebuke. He reminded me 
that one who even suggested suicide as a 
means of escape from sin had been pronounced 
by the Buddha a spiritual outcast, — unfit to 
live with holy men. As for the dead priest, 
he had been one of those whom the Teacher 
called fools. Only a fool could imagine that 
by destroying his own body he was destroying 
also within himself the sources of sin. 

"But," I protested, "this man's life was 
pure. • . . Suppose he sought death that he 
might not, unwittingly, cause others to com- 
mit sin ? " 

My friend smiled ironically. Then he 
8aid: — 

"There was once a lady of Japan, nobly 
bom and very beautiful, who wanted to be- 


come a nun. She went to a certain temple, 
and made her wish known. But the high- 
priest said to her, * You are still very young. 
You have lived the life of courts. To the 
eyes of worldly men you are beautiful; and, 
because of your face, temptations to return to 
the pleasures of the world will be devised for 
you. Also this wish of yours may be due to 
some momentary sorrow. Therefore, I can- 
not now consent to your request.' But she 
still pleaded so earnestly, that he deemed it 
best to leave her abruptly. There was a large 
hibachi — a brazier of glowing charcoal — in 
the room where she found herself alone. She 
heated the iron tongs of the brazier till they 
were red, and with them horribly pierced and 
seamed her face, destroying her beauty for- 
ever. Then the priest, alarmed by the smell 
of the burning, returned in haste, and was 
very much grieved by what he saw. But she 
pleaded again, without any trembling in her 
voice : ' Because I was beautiful, you refused 
to take me. Will you take me now ? ' She was 
accepted into the Order, and became a holy 
nun. . . . Well, which was the wiser, that 
woman, or the priest you wanted to praise? " 


^^But was it the duty of the priest," I 
asked, ^^to disfigure his face? " 

^'Certainly not! Even the woman's action 
would have been very unworthy if done only 
as a protection against temptation. Self -mu- 
tilation of any sort is forbidden by the law of 
Buddha; and she transgressed. But as she 
burned her face only that she might be able 
to enter at once upon the Path, and not be- 
cause afraid of being imable by her own will 
to resist sin, her fault was a minor fault. On 
the other hand, the priest who took his own 
Ufe committed a very great offense. He 
should have tried to convert those who tempted 
him. This he was too weak to do. If he 
felt it impossible to keep from sinning as a 
priest, then it would have been better for him 
to return to the world, and there try to fol- 
low the law for such as do not belong to the 

^^ According to Buddhism, therefore, he has 
obtained no merit? " I queried. 

'^It is not easy to imagine that he has. 
Only by those ignorant of the Law can his 
action be commended." 

"And by those knowing the Law, what will 


be thought of the results, the karma of his 

My friend mused a little; then he said, 
thoughtfully : — 

^^The whole truth of that suicide we cannot 
fuUy know. Perhaps it was not the first 

^^Do you mean that in some former life 
also he may have tried to escape from sin by 
destroying his own body?" 

"Yes. Or in many former lives." 

"What of his future Kves? " 

"Only a Buddha could answer that with 
certain knowledge." 

"But what is the teaching? " 

"You forget that it is not possible for us to 
know what was in the mind of that man." 

"Suppose that he sought death only to es- 
cape from sinning? " 

"Then he will have to face the like tempta- 
^ tion again and again, and all the sorrow of it, 
and all the pain, even for a thousand times a 
thousand times, until he shall have learned to 
master himself. There is no escape through 
death from the supreme necessity of self -con- 


After parting with my friend, his words 
continued to haunt me; and they haunt me 
still. They forced new thoughts about some 
theories hazarded in the first part of this 
paper. I have not yet been able to assure 
myself that his weird interpretation of the 
amatory mystery is any less worthy of consid- 
oration than our Western interpretations. I 
have been wondering whether the loves that 
lead to death might not mean much more than 
the ghostly hunger of buried passions. Might 
they not signify also the inevitable penalty of 
long-forgotten sins? 


Sinoiru kuni ni 

Kite wa aredo, 
Tamato-nithiki no 

Iro toa hawarc^ 

He was bom in a city of the interior, tlie 
seat of a daimyo of three hundred thousand 
koku, where no foreigner had ever been. The 
yashiki of his father, a samurai of high rank, 
stood within the outer fortifications surround- 
ing the prince's castle. It was a spacious 
yashiki; and behind it and around it were 
landscape gardens, one of which contained 
a small shrine of the god of armies. Forty 
years ago there were many such homes. To 
artist eyes the few still remaining seem like 
fairy palaces, and their gardens like dreams 
of the Buddhist paradise. 

But sons of samurai were severely disci- 


plined in those days; and the one of whom I 
write had little time for dreaming. The pe- 
riod of caresses was made painfully brief for 
him. Even before he was invested with his 
first ha1cama<i or trousers, — a great ceremony 
in that epoch, — he was weaned as far as 
possible from tender influence, and taught to 
check the natural impulses of childish affec- 
tion. Little comrades would ask him mock- 
ingly, "Do you still need milk?" if they saw 
him walking out with his mother, although 
he might love her in the house as demonstra- 
tively as he pleased, during the hours he could 
pass by her side. These were not many. All 
inactive pleasures were severely restricted by 
his discipline; and even comforts, except dur- 
ing illness, were not allowed him. Almost 
from the time he could speak he was enjoined 
to consider duty the guiding motive of life, 
self-control the first requisite of conduct, pain 
and death matters of no consequence in the 
selfish sense. 

There was a grimmer side to this Spartan 
discipline, designed to cultivate a cold stern- 
ness never to be relaxed during youth, except 
in the screened intimacy of the home. The 


boys were inured to sights of blood. They 
were taken to witness executions; they were 
expected to display no emotion; and they 
were obliged, on their return home, to quell 
any secret feeling of horror by eating plenti- 
fully of rice tinted blood-color by an admix- 
ture of salted plum juice. Even more difficult 
things might be demanded of a very young 
l>oy , — to go alone at midnight to the execu- 
tion-ground, for example, and bring ba^k a 
head in proof of courage. For the fear of 
the dead was held not less contemptible in a 
samurai than the fear of man. The samurai 
child was pledged to fear nothing. In all 
such tests, the demeanor exacted was perfect 
impassiveness; any swaggering would have 
been judged quite as harshly as any sign of 

As a boy grew up, he was obliged to find 
his pleasures chiefly in those bodily exercises 
which were the samurai's early and constant 
preparations for war, — archery and riding, 
wrestling and fencing. Playmates were found 
for him; but these were older youths, sons 
of retainers, chosen for ability to assist him 
in the practice of martial exercises. It was 


their duty also to teach him how to swim, to 
handle a boat, to develop his yomig muscles. 
Between such physical traming and the study 
of the Chinese classics the greater part of 
each day was divided for him. His diet, 
though ample, was never dainty; his clothing, 
except in time of great ceremony, was light 
and coarse; and he was not allowed the use 
of fire merely to warm.himself . While study- 
ing of winter mornings, if his hands became 
too cold to use the writing brush, he would 
be ordered to plunge them into icy water to 
restore the circulation; and if his feet were 
numbed by frost, he would be told to run 
about in the snow to make them warm. Still 
more rigid was his training in the special eti- 
quette of the military class; and he was early 
made to know that the little sword in his gir- 
dle was neither an ornament nor a plaything. 
He was shown how to use it, how to take his 
own life at a moment's notice, without shrink- 
ing, whenever the code of his class might so 

^ " Is that really the head of your father ? " a prinoe 
once asked of a samurai boy only seven years old. Hie 
ehild at once realized the situation. The freshlyHMTiOMd 


Also in the matter of religion, the training 
of a samurai boy was peculiar. He was edu- 
cated to revere the ancient gods and the spirits 
of his ancestors; he was well schooled in the 
Chinese ethics ; and he was taught something 
of Buddhist philosophy and faith. But he 
was likewise taught that hope of heaven and 
fear of hell were for the ignorant only; and 
that the superior man should be influenced in 
his conduct by nothing more selfish than the 
love of right for its own sake, and the recog- 
nition of duty as a universal law. 

Gradually, as the period of boyhood ripened 
into youth, his conduct was less subjected to 
supervision. He was left more and more free 
to act upon his own judgment, — but with 
full knowledge that a mistake would not be 
forgotten; that a serious offense would never 
be fully condoned; and that a well-merited 

head set bef oie him was not his father's : the daimyo had 
been deceived, bnt further deception was necessary. So the 
lad, after having saluted the head with every sign of rev- 
erential grief, suddenly cut out his own bowels. All the 
prince's doubts vanished before that bloody proof of filial 
piety; the outlawed father was able to make good his 
escape ; and the memory of the child is still honored in 
Japanese drama and poetry. 


reprimand was more to be dreaded than death. 
On the other hand, there were few moral dan- 
gers against which to guard him. Professional 
vice was then strictly banished from many of 
the provincial castle-towns; and even so much 
of the non-moral side of life as might have 
been reflected in popular romance and drama, 
a young samurai could know little about. He 
was taught to despise that conmion literature 
appealing either to the softer emotions or the 
passions, as essentially unmanly reading; and 
the public theatre was forbidden to his class.^ 
Thus, in that innocent provincial life of Old 
Japan, a young samurai might grow up ex- 
ceptionally pure-minded and simple-hearted. 

So grew up the young samurai concern- 
ing whom these things are written, —fearless, 

1 Saxnnrai women, in some proyinces at least, conld go to 
the public theatre. The men could not, — without commit- 
ting a breach of g^ood manners. But in samurai homes, 
or within the g^unds of the yashiki, some private per- 
formances of a particular character were given. Strolling 
players were the performers. I know several charming old 
shizoku who have never been to a public theatre in their 
lives, and refuse aU invitations to witness a performance. 
They still obey the rules of their samurai education. 


courteous, self-denying, despising pleasure, 
and ready at an instant's notice to give his 
life for love, loyalty, or honor. But though 
already a warrior in frame and spirit, he was 
in years scarcely more than a boy when the 
country was first startled by the coming of 
the Black Ships. 


The policy of lyemitsu, forbidding any 
Japanese to leave the country under pain of 
death, had left the nation for two hundred 
years ignorant of the outer world. About the 
colossal forces gathering beyond seas nothing 
was known. The long existence of the Dutch 
settlement at Nagasaki had in no wise enlight- 
ened Japan as to her true position, — an Ori- 
ental feudalism of the sixteenth century men- 
aced by a Western world three centuries older. 
Accounts of the real wonders of that world 
would have sounded to Japanese ears like 
stories invented to please children, or have 
been classed with ancient tales of the fabled 
palaces of Horai. The advent of the Ameri- 
can fleet, ^^the Black Ships," as they were 
then called, first awakened the government 


to some knowledge of its own weakness, and 
of danger from afar. 

National excitement at the news of the sec- 
ond coming of the Black Ships was followed 
by consternation at the discovery that the 
Shogunate confessed its inability to cope with 
the foreign powers. This could mean only a 
peril greater than that of the Tartar invasion 
in the days of H5jo Tokimun^, when the 
people had prayed to the gods for help, and 
the Emperor himself, at Is^, had besought 
the spirits of his fathers. Those prayers had 
been answered by sudden darkness, a sea of 
thunder, and the coming of that mighty wind 
still called Kami-kaze^ — "the Wind of the 
Gods," by which the fleets of Kublai Elian 
were given to the abyss. Why should not 
prayers now also be made? They were, in 
countless homes and at thousands of shrines. 
But the Superior Ones gave this time no an« 
swer; the Kami-kaze did not come. And the 
samurai boy, praying vainly before the little 
shrine of Hachiman in his father's garden, 
wondered if the gods had lost their power, or 
if the people of the Black Ships were under 
the protection of stronger gods. 



It soon became evident that the foreign 
"barbarians" were not to be driven away. 
Hundreds had come, from the East as well as 
from the West; and all possible measures for 
their protection had been taken; and they 
had built queer cities of their own upon Jap- 
anese soil. The government had even com- 
manded that Western knowledge was to be 
taught in all schools; that the study of Eng- 
Ush was to be made an important branch of 
public education; and that public education 
itself was to be remodeled upon Occidental 
lines. The government had also declared 
that the future of the country would depend 
upon the study and mastery of the languages 
and the science of the foreigners. During the 
interval, then, between such study and its suc- 
cessful results, Japan would practically remain 
under alien domination. The fact was not, 
indeed, publicly stated in so many words ; but 
the signification of the policy was unmistaka- 
ble. After the first violent emotions provoked 
by knowledge of the situation, — after the 


great dismay of the people, and the suppressed 
fury of the samurai, — there arose an intense 
curiosity regarding the appearance and char- 
acter of those insolent strangers who had been 
able to obtain what they wanted by mere dis- 
play of superior force. This general curiosity 
was partly satisfied by an immense production 
aad dis Jbution of cheap colored prints, pic 
turing the manner and customs of the barba- 
rians, and the ertraordinary streets of their 
settlements. Caricatures only those flaring 
wood -prints could have seemed to foreign 
eyes. But caricature was not the conscious 
object of the artist. He tried to portray for- 
eigners as he really saw them; and he saw 
them as green-eyed monsters, with red hair 
like Sh5jo,^ and with noses like Tengu,^ 
wearing clothes of absurd forms and colors; 
and dwelling in structures like storehouses or 
prisons. Sold by hundreds of thousands 
throughout the interior, these prints must 
have created many uncanny ideas. Yet as 

^ Apish mythological beings with red hair, delighting in 

^ Mythological beings of several kinds, supposed to live 
in the mountains. Some haye long noses. 


attempts to depict the unfamiliar they were 
only innocent. One should be able to study 
those old drawings in order to comprehend 
just how we appeared to the Japanese of that 
era; how ugly, how grotesque, how ridiculous. 

The young samurai of the town soon had 
the experience of seeing a real Western for- 
eigner, a teacher hired for them by the prince. 
He was an Englishman. He came under the 
protection of an armed escort; and orders 
were given to treat him as a person of dis- 
tinction. He did not seem quite so ugly as 
the foreigners in the Japanese prints : his hair 
was red, indeed, and his eyes of a strange 
color; but his face was not disagteeable. He 
at once became, and long remained, the sub- 
ject of tireless observation. How closely his 
every act was watched could never be guessed 
by any one ignorant of the queer supersti- 
tions of the pre-Meiji era concerning our- 
selves. Although recognized as intelligent 
and formidable creatures, Occidentals were 
not generally regarded as quite human; they 
were thought of as more closely allied to ani- 
mak than to mankind. They had hairy bodies 


of queer sliape ; their teeth were different from 
those of men; their internal organs were also 
peculiar; and their moral ideas those of gob- 
lias. The timidity which foreigners then in- 
spired, not, indeed, to the samurai, but to 
the common people, was not a physical, but 
a superstitious fear. Even the Japanese peas- 
ant has never been a coward. But to know 
his feelings in that time toward foreigners, 
one must also know something of the ancient 
beUefs, common to both Japan and China, 
about animals gifted with supernatural powers, 
and capable of assimiing human form; about 
the existence of races half -human and half- 
superhuman; and about the mythical beings of 
the old picture-books, — goblins long - legged 
and long-armed and bearded (ashinaga and 
tenaga)^ whether depicted by the illustrators 
of weird stories or comically treated by the 
brush of Hokusai. Eeally the aspect of the 
new strangers seemed to afford confirma- 
tion of the fables related by a certain Chi- 
nese Herodotus; and the clothing they wore 
might seem to have been devised for the pur- 
pose of hiding what would prove them not 
human. So the new English teacher, bliss- 


fully ignorant of the fact, was studied sur- 
reptitiously, just as one might study a curi- 
ous animal! Nevertheless, from his students 
he experienced only courtesy: they treated 
him by that Chinese code which ordains that 
^even the shadow of a teacher must not be 
trodden on." In any event it would have 
mattered little to samurai students whether 
their teacher were perfectly human or not, so 
long as he could teach. The hero Yoshitsune 
had been taught the art of the sword by a 
Tengu. Beings not human had proved them- 
selves scholars and poets.^ But behind the 
never-lifted mask of delicate courtesy, the 

^ There is a legend that when Toryoko, ag^at poet, who 
was the teacher of Sugfiwara-no-Michizan^ (now deified as 
Tenjin), was once passing the G^te called Ra-jo-mon, of the 
Emperor's palace at Kyoto, he recited aloud this single 
Terse which he had jnst composed : — 

** Clear is the weather and fair ; — and the wind waves the 
hair of young loiUowsJ'* 

Immediately a deep mocking voice from the gateway con- 
tinued the poem, thus : — 

'* Melted and vanished the ice ; the waves comb the locks of 
old mosses." 

Toryoko looked, but there was no one to be seen. Reaching 
home, he told his pnpil about the matter, and repeated the 


stranger's habits were minutely noted; and 
the ultimate judgment, based upon the com- 
parison of such observation, was not altogether 
flattering. The teacher himself could never 
have imagined the comments made upon him 
by his two-sworded pupils; nor would it have 
increased his peace of mind, while overlook- 
ing compositions in the class-room, to have 
understood their conversation: — 

^^See the color of his flesh, how soft it is! 
To take off his head with a single blow would 
be very easy." 

Once he was induced to try their mode 
of wrestling, just for fun, he supposed. But 
they really wanted to take his physical meas- 
ure. He was not very highly estimated as an 

^^ Strong arms he certainly has," one said. 
''But he does not know how to use his body 
while using his arms; and his loins are very 
weak. To break his back would not be diffi- 

two oompositioiis. Sngiwara-no-Miohizan^ prused the see- 
ond one, saying : — 

** Truly the woids of the first are the words of a poet ^ 
but the words of the second are the words of a Demon I " 


^'I think," said another, ^'that it would be 
easy to fight with foreigners." 

"With swords it would be very easy," re- 
sponded a third; "but they are more skilful 
than we in the use of guns and cannon." 

"We can learn all that," said the first 
speaker. "When we have learned Western 
military matters, we need not care for West- 

"Foreigners," observed another, "are not 
hardy like we are. They soon tire, and they 
fear cold. All winter our teacher must have 
a great fire in his room. To stay there five 
minutes gives me the headache." 

But for all that, the lads were kind to their 
teacher, and made him love them. 


Changes came as great earthquakes come, 
without warning: the transformation of dai- 
myates into prefectures, the suppression of the 
military class, the reconstruction of the whole 
social system. These events filled the youth 
with sadness, although he felt no difGiculty 


in transferring his allegiance from prince to 
emperor, and although the wealth of his family 
remained imimpaired by the shock. All this 
reconstruction told him of the greatness of the 
national danger, and announced the certain 
disappearance of the old high ideals, and of 
nearly all things loved. But he knew regret 
was vain. By self -transformation alone could 
the nation hope to save its independence; and 
the obvious duty of the patriot was to recog- 
nize necessity, and fitly prepare himself to 

In the samurai school he had learned much 
English, and he knew himself able to converse 
with Englishmen. He cut his long hair, put 
away his swords, and went to Yokohama that 
he might continue his study of the language 
under more favorable conditions. At Yoko- 
hama everything at first seemed to him both 
unfamiliar and repellent. Even the Japanese 
of the port had been changed by foreign con- 
tact: they were rude and rough; they acted 
and spoke as common people would not have 
dared to do in his native town. The foreign- 
ers themselves impressed him still more dis- 
agreeably: it was the period when new settlers 


could assume the tone of conquerors to the 
conquered, and when the life of the "open 
ports" was much less decorous than now. 
The new buildings of brick or stuccoed timber 
revived for him impleasant memories of the 
Japanese colored pictures of foreign manners 
and customs; and he could not quickly banish 
the fancies of his boyhood concerning Occi- 
dentals. Beason, based on larger knowledge 
and experience, fully assured him what they 
really were; but to his emotional life the in- 
timate sense of their kindred humanity still 
failed to come. Eace-feeling is older than 
intellectual development; and the supersti- 
tions attaching to race-feeling are not easy to 
get rid of. His soldier-spirit, too, was stirred 
at times by ugly things heard or seen, — in- 
cidents that filled him with the hot impulse 
of his fathers to avenge a cowardice or to 
redress a wrong. But he learned to conquer 
his repulsions as obstacles to knowledge: it 
was the patriot's duty to study calmly the 
nature of his coimtry's foes. He trained him- 
self at last to observe the new life about him 
without prejudice, — its merits not less than 
its defects; its strength not less than its 


weakness. He found kindness; he found de- 
votion to ideals, — ideals not his own, but 
which he knew how to respect because they 
exacted, like the religion of his ancestors, 
abnegation of many things. 

Through such appreciation he learned to 
like and to trust an aged missionary entirely 
absorbed in the work of educating and prosely- 
tizing. The old man was especially ^inxious 
to convert this young samurai, in whom apti- 
tudes of no common order were discernible; 
and he spared no pains to win the boy's 
confidence. He aided him in many ways, 
taught him something of French and German, 
of Greek and Latin, and placed entirely at 
his disposal a private library of considerable 
extent. The use of a foreign library, in- 
cluding works of history, philosophy, travel, 
and fiction, was not a privilege then easy for 
Japanese students to obtain. It was grate- 
fully appreciated; and the owner of the library 
found no difficulty at a later day in persuad- 
ing his favored and favorite pupil to read a 
part of the New Testament. The youth ex- 
pressed surprise at finding among the doctrines 
of the "Evil Sect " ethical precepts like those 


of Confucius. To the old missionary he said: 
^^This teaching is not new to us; but it is 
certainly very good. I shall study the book 
and think about it." 

The study and the thinking were to lead 
the young man much further than he had 
thought possible. After the recognition of 
Christianity as a great religion came recog- 
nitions of another order, and various imag- 
inings about the civilization of the races 
professing Christianity. It then seemed to 
many reflective Japanese, possibly even to the 
keen minds directing the national policy, that 
Japan was doomed to pass altogether under 
alien rule. There was hope, indeed ; and while 
even the ghost of hope remained, the duty for 
all was plain. But the power that could be 
used against the Empire was irresistible. And 
studying the enormity of that power, the 
young Oriental could not but ask himseK, 
with a wonder approaching awe, whence and 
kow it had been gained. Could it, as his aged 
teacher averred, have some occult relation to a 


higher religion? Certainly the ancient Chinese 
philosophy, which declared the prosperity of 
peoples proportionate to their observance of 
celestial law and their obedience to the teach- 
ing of sages, countenanced such a theory. 
And if the superior force of Western civiliza- 
tion really indicated the superior character 
of Western ethics, was it not the plain duty 
of every patriot to follow that higher faith, 
and to strive for fche conversion of the whole 
nation? A youth of that era, educated in 
Chinese wisdom, and necessarily ignorant of 
the history of social evolution in the West, 
could never have imagined that the very high- 
est forms of material progress were developed 
chiefly through a merciless competition out of 
all harmony with Christian idealism, and at 
variance with every great system of ethics. 
Even to-day in the West unthinking millions 
imagine some divine connection between miU- 
tary power and Christian beUef ; and utter- 

justification for political robberies, and heav- 
enly inspiration for the invention of high ex- 
plosives. There still survives among us the 
superstition that races professing Christianity 


are divinely destined to rob or exterminate 
races holding other beliefs. Some men occa- 
sionally express their conviction that we still 
worship Thor and Odin, — the only difference 
being that Odin has become a mathematician, 
and that the Hammer Mjolnir is now worked 
by steam. But such persons are declared by 
the missionaries to be atheists and men of 
shameless lives. 

Be this as it may, a time came when the 
young samurai resolved to proclaim himself a 
Christian, despite the opposition of his kin- 
dred. It was a bold step; but his early train- 
ing had given him firmness; and he was not to 
be moved from his decision even by the sorrow 
of his parents. His rejection of the ancestral 
faith would signify more than temporary pain 
for him : it would mean disinheritance, the 
contempt of old comrades, loss of rank, and 
all the consequences of bitter poverty. But 
his samurai training had taught him to despise 
seK. He saw what he believed to be his duty 
as a patriot and as a truthseeker; and he fol- 
lowed it witiiout fear or regret. 



Those who hope to substitute their own 
Western creed in the room of one which they 
wreck by the aid of knowledge borrowed from 
modem scienoB, do not imagine that the ar- 
guments used against the ancient faith can 
be used with equal force against the new. 
Unable himself to reach the higher levels of 
modem thought, the average missionary can- 
not foresee the result of his small teaching of 
science upon an Oriental mind naturally niore 
powerful than his own. He is therefore as- 
tonished and shocked to discover that the more 
intelligent his pupil, the briefer the term of 
that pupil's Christianity. To destroy per- 
sonal faith in a fine mind previously satisfied 
with Buddhist cosmogony, because innocent 
of science, is not extremely difficult. But to 
substitute, in the same mind, Western reli- 
gious emotions for Oriental, Presbyterian or 
Baptist dogmatisms for Chinese and Buddhist 
ethics, is not possible. The psychological 
difficulties in the way are never recognized by 
our modem evangelists. In former ages, 


when the faith of the Jesuits and the friars 
Was not less superstitious than the faith they 
strove to supplant, the same deep-lying obsta- 
cles existed; and the Spanish priest, even 
while accomplishing marvels by his immense 
sincerity and fiery zeal, must have felt that 
to fully realize his dream he would need the 
sword of the Spanish soldier. To-day the 
conditions are &r less favorable for any work 
of conversion than they ever were in the six- 
teenth century. Education has been secular- 
ized and remodeled upon a scientific basis; 
our religions are being changed into mere 
social recognitions of ethical necessities; the 
functions of our clergy are being gradually 
transformed into those of a moral police; and 
the multitude of our church-spires proves no 
increase of our faith, but only the larger 
growth of our respect for conventions. Never 
can the conventions of the Occident become 
those of the Far East; and never will foreign 
missionaries be suffered in Japan to take 
the role of a police of morals. Already the 
most liberal of our churches, those of broadest 
culture, begin to recognize the vanity of mis- 
sions. But it is not necessary to drop old 


dogmatisms in order to perceive the truth: 
thorough education should be enough to reveal 
it; and the most educated of nations, Ger- 
many, sends no missionaries to work in the 
interior of Japan. A result of missionary 
efforts, much more significant than the indis- 
pensable yearly report of new conversions, has 
been the reorganization of the native religions, 
and a recent government mandate insisting 
upon the higher education of the native priest- 
hoods. Indeed, long before this mandate the 
wealthier sects had established Buddhist 
schools on the Western plan ; and the Shinshu 
could already boast of its scholars, educated 
in Paris or at Oxford,— men whose names 
are known to Sanscritists the world over. 
Certainly Japan will need higher forms of 
faith than her mediaeval ones ; but these must 
be themselves evolved from the ancient forms, 
— from within, never from without. A Bud- 
dhism strongly fortified by Western science 
will meet the future needs of the race. 

The young convert at Yokohama proved a 
noteworthy example of missionary failures. 
Within a few years after having sacrificed a 


fortune in order to become a Cliristian, — or 
rather the member of a foreign religious sect, 
— he publicly renounced the creed accepted 
at such a cost. He had studied and compre- 
hended the great minds of the age better than 
his religious teachers, who could no longer 
respond to the questions he propounded, ex- 
cept by the assurance that books of which 
they had recommended him to study parts 
were dangerous to faith as wholes. But as 
they could not prove the fallacies alleged to 
exist in such books, their warnings availed 
nothing. He had been converted to dogma- 
tism by imperfect reasoning; by larger and 
deeper reasoning he found his way beyond 
dogmatism. He passed from the church after 
an open declai*ation that its tenets were not 
based upon true reason or fact ; and that he 
felt himself obliged to accept the opinions of 
men whom his teachers had called the enemies 
of Christianity. There was great scandal at 
his "relapse." 

The real "relapse " was yet far away. Un- 
like many with a similar experience, he knew 
that the religious question had only receded 
for him, and that all he had learned was 


scarcely more than the alphabet of what re- 
mained to learn. He had not lost belief in 
the relative value of creeds, — in the worth of 
reUgion as a conserving and restraining force. 
A distorted perception of one truth — the 
truth of a relation subsisting between civili- 
zations and their religions — had first deluded 
him into the path that led to his conver- 
sion. Chinese philosophy had taught him 
that which modern sociology recognizes in the 
law that societies without priesthoods have 
never developed; and Buddhism had taught 
him that even delusions — the parables, 
forms, and symbols presented as actualities 
to humble minds — have their value and 
their justification in aiding the development 
of human goodness. From such a point of 
view, Christianity had lost none of its interest 
for him ; and though doubting what his teacher 
had told him about the superior morality of 
Christian nations, not at all illustrated in the 
life of the open ports, he desired to see for 
himself the influence of religion upon morals 
in the Occident; to visit European countries 
and to study the causes of their development 
and the reason of their power. 


This he set out to do sooner than he had 
purposed. That intellectual quickening which 
had made hun a doubter in religious matters 
had made him also a freethinker in politics. 
He brought down upon himself the wrath of 
the government by public expressions of 
opinion antagonistic to the policy of the hour; 
and, like others equaUy imprudent under the 
stimulus of new ideas, he was obliged to leave 
the country. Thus began for him a series of 
wanderings destined to carry him round the 
world. Korea first afforded him a refuge; 
then China, where he lived as a teacher; and 
at last he found himself on boai'd a steamer 
bound for Marseilles. He had little money; 
but he did not ask himself how he was going 
to live in Europe. Young, tall, athletic, fru- 
gal and inured to hardship, he felt sure of 
himself; and he had letters to men abroad 
who could smooth his way. 

But long years were to pass before he could 
see his native land again. 



During those years he saw Western ciyiliza- 
tion as few Japanese ever saw it; for he wan* 
dered through Europe and America, living in 
many cities, and toiling in many capacities, 
— sometimes with his brain, oftener with his 
hands, — and so was able to study the highest 
and the lowest, the best and the worst of the 
life about him. But he saw with the eyes of 
the Far East; and the ways of his judgments 
were not as our ways. For even as the Occi- 
dent regards the Far East, so does the Far 
East regard the Occident, — only with this dif- 
ference : that what each most esteems in itself 
is least likely to be esteemed by the other. 
And both are partly right and partly wrong; 
and there never has been, and never can be, 
perfect mutual comprehension. 

Larger than all anticipation the West ap- 
peared to him, — a world of giants; and that 
which depresses even the boldest Occidental 
who finds himself, without means or friends, 
alone in a great city, must often have de- 
pressed the Oriental exile : that vague uneasi- 


ness aroused by the sense of being invisible to 
hurrying millions; by the ceaseless roar of 
traffic drowning voices; by monstrosities of 
architecture without a soul; by the dynamic 
display of wealth forcing mind and hand, 
as mere cheap machinery, to the uttermost 
limits of the possible. Perhaps he saw such 
cities as Dor^ saw London: sullen majesty 
of arched glooms, and granite deeps opening 
into granite deeps beyond range of vision, 
and mountains of masonry with seas of la- 
bor in turmoil at their base, and monumental 
spa<5es displaying the grimness of ordered 
power slow-gathering through centuries. Of 
beauty there was nothing to make appeal to 
him between those endless cliffs of stone which 
walled out the sunrise and the sunset, the sky 
and the wind. All that which draws us to 
great cities repelled or oppressed him; even 
luminous Paris soon filled him with weari- 
ness. It was the first foreign city in which he 
made a long sojourn. French art, as reflect- 
ing the aesthetic thought of the most gifted 
of European races, surprised him much, but 
charmed him not at all. What surprised him 
especially were its studies of the nude, in 


\9I1ich he recognized only an open confession 
of the one human weakness which, next to 
disloyalty or cowardice, his stoical training 
had taught him to most despise. Modem 
French literature gave him other reasons for 
astonishment. He coidd little comprehend 
the amazing art of the story-teller; the worth 
of the workmanship in itself was not visible 
to him ; and if he could have been made to 
understand it as a European understands, he 
would have remained none the less convinced 
that such application of genius to production 
signified social depravity. And gradually, in 
the luxurious life of the capital itself, ho 
found proof for the belief suggested to him 
by the art and the literature of the period. 
He visited the pleasure-resorts, the theatres, 
the opera; he saw with the eyes of an ascetic 
and a soldier, and wondered why the Western 
conception of the, worth of life differed so 
little from the Far-Eastern conception of foDy 
and of effeminacy. He saw fashionable balls, 
and exposures de rigueur intolerable to the 
Far-Eastern sense of modesty, — artistically 
calculated to suggest what woidd cause a Jap- 
anese woman to die of shame; and he won* 


dered at criticisms he had heard about the 
natural, modest, healthy half-midity of Jap- 
anese toiling under a sunmier sim. He saw 
cathedrals and churches in vast number, and 
near to them the palaces of vice, and estab- 
lishments enriched by the stealthy sale of 
artistic obscenities. He listened to sermons 
by great preachers; and he heard blasphemies 
against all faith and love by priest - haters. 
He saw the circles of wealth, and the circles 
of poverty, and the abysses underlying both. 
The "restraining influence" of religion he 
did not see. That world had no faith. It 
was a world of mockery and masquerade and 
pleasure-seeking selfishness, ruled not by re- 
ligion, but by police ; a world into which it 
were not good that a man should be bom. 

England, more sombre, more imposing, 
more formidable, furnished him with other 
problems to consider. He studied her wealth, 
forever growing, and the nightmares of squalor 
forever multiplying in the shadow of it. He 
saw the vast ports gorged with the riches of 
a hundred lands, mostly plunder; and knew 
the English still like their forefathers, a race 
of prey ; and thought of the fate of her mil-* 


Uons if she should find herself for even a 
single month unable to compel other races to 
feed them. He saw the harlotry and drunk- 
enness that make night hideous in the world's 
greatest city; and he marveled at the conven- 
tional hypocrisy that pretends not to see, and 
at the religion that utters thanks for existing 
conditions, and at the ignorance that sends 
missionaries where they are not needed, and 
at the enormous charities that help disease 
and vice to propagate their kind. He saw 
also the declaration of a great Englishman^ 
who had traveled in many countries that one 

^ *' Although we have prog^ressed yastly beyond the sayage 
state in intelleotnal achievements, we have not advanced 
equally in morals. ... It is not too much to say that 
the mass of our populations have not at all advanced be- 
yond the savage code of morals, and have in many cases 
sunk below it. A deficient morality is the great blot of 
modem civilization. . . . Our whole social and moral civ- 
ilization remains in a state of barbarism. . . . We are the 
richest country in the world ; and yet nearly one twentieth 
of our population are parish paupers, and one thirtieth 
known criminals. Add to these the criminals who escape 
detection, and the poor who live mainly or partly on private 
charity (which, according to Dr. Hawkesley, expends seven 
millions sterling annually in London alone), and we may be 
sure that more than okb tenth of our population are actu- 
ally Paupers and CriminalB." — Alfbbd Bubsel Wallace. 


tenth of the population of England were pro* 
fessional criminals or paupers. And this in 
spite of the myriads of churches, and the in- 
comparable multiplication of laws ! Certainly 
EngUsh civilization showed less than any 
other the pretended power of that religion 
which he had been taught to believe the inspi- 
ration of progress. English streets told him 
another story: there were no such sights to 
be seen in the streets of Buddhist cities. No : 
this civilization signified a perpetual wicked 
struggle between the simple and the cunning, 
the feeble and the strong; force and craft 
combining to thrust weakness into a yawning 
and visible hell. Never in Japan had there 
been even the sick dream of such conditions. 
Yet the merely material and intellectual re- 
sults of those conditions he could not but con- 
fess to be astonishing; and though he saw 
evil beyond all he could have imagined possi- 
ble, he also saw much good, among both poor 
and rich. The stupendous riddle of it all, the 
countless contradictions, were«above his powers 
of interpretation. 

He liked the English people better than the 
people of other countries he had visited ; and 


the maimers of the English gentry impressed 
him as not unlike those of the Japanese sa- 
murai. Behind their formal coldness he could 
discern immense capacities of friendship and 
enduring kindness, — kindness he experienced 
more than once; the depth of emotional power 
rarely wasted; and the hish courage that 
had won «.e dominion of bS a w^ But 
ere he left England for America, to study a 
still vaster field of himian achievement, mere 
differences of nationality had ceased to inter- 
est him: they were blurred out of visibility 
in his growing perception of Occidental civ- 
ilization as one amazing whole, everywhere 
displaying — whether through imperial, mon- 
archical, or democratic forms — the working 
of the like merciless necessities with the like 
astounding results, and everywhere based on 
ideas totally the reverse of Far-Eastern ideas. 
Such civilization he coidd estimate only as 
one having no single emotion in harmony with 
it, — as one finding nothing to love while 
dwelling in its midst, and nothing to regret 
in the hour of leaving it forever. It was as 
far away from his soul as the life of another 
planet under another sim. But he could un- 


derstand its cost in terms of human pain, feel 
the menace of its weight, and divine the pro- 
digious range of its intellectual power. And 
he hated it, — hated its tremendous and per- 
fectly calculated mechanism; hated its utili- 
tarian stability; hated its conventions, its 
greed, its blind cruelty, its huge hypocrisy, 
the foulness of its want and the insolence of 
its wealth. Morally, it was monstrous; con- 
ventionally, it was brutal. Depths of degra- 
dation unfathomable it had shown him, but 
no ideals equal to the ideals of his youth. It 
was all one great wolfish struggle; — and 
that so much real goodness as he had found in 
it coidd exist, seemed to him scarcely less 
than miraculous. The real sublimities of the 
Occident were intellectual only; far steep cold 
heights of pure knowledge, below whose per- 
petual snow-line emotional ideals die. Surely 
the old Japanese civilization of benevolence 
and duty was incomparably better in its oom- 
prehensTon of happLss, in its moral ambi- 
tions, its larger faith, its joyous courage, its 
simplicity and unselfishness, its sobriety and 
contentment. Western superiority was not 
ethical. It lay in forces of intellect developed 


through suffering incalculable, and used for 
the destruction of the weak by the strong. 

And, nevertheless, that Western science 
whose logic he knew to be irrefutable assured 
him of the larger and larger expansion of the 
power of that civilization, as of an irresistible, 
inevitable, measureless inundation of world- 
pain. Japan would have to learn the new 
forms of action, to master the new forms of 
thought, or to perish utterly. There was no 
other alternative. And then the doubt of all 
doubts came to him, the question which all 
the sages have had to face: Is the universe 
moral ? To that question Buddhism had given 
the deepest answer. 

But whether moral or unmoral the cosmic 
process, as measured by infinitesimal human 
emotion, one conviction remained with him 
that no logic could impair: the certainty that 
man should pursue the highest moral ideal 
with all his power to the imknown end, 
even though the suns in their courses should 
fight against him. The necessities of Japan 
would oblige her to master foreign science, to 
adopt much from the material civilization of 
her enemies; but the same necessities could 


not compel her to cast bodily away her ideas 
of right and wrong, of duty and of honor. 
Slowly a purpose shaped itself in his mind, — 
a purpose which was to make him in after 
years a leader and a teacher: to strive with 
all his strength for the conservation of all 
that was best in the ancient life, and to fear- 
lessly oppose further introduction of anything 
not essential to national self-preservation, or 
helpful to national self-development. Fail 
he well might, and without shame; but he 
could hope at least to save something of worth 
from the drift of wreckage. The wasteful- 
ness of Western life had impressed him more 
than its greed of pleasure and its capacity for 
pain: in the clean poverty of his own land 
he saw strength; in her unselfish thrift, the 
sole chance of competing with the Occident. 
Foreign civilization had taught him to under- 
stand, as he could never otherwise have un- 
derstood, the worth and the beauty of his own ; 
and he longed for the hour of permission to 
return to the country of his birth. 


It was through the transparent darkness of 
a cloudless April morning, a little before 
sunrise, that he saw again the mountains of 
his native land, — far lofty sharpening sierras, 
towering violet-black out of the circle of an 
inky sea. Behind the steamer which was 
bearing him back from exile the horizon was 
slowly filling with rosy flame. There were 
some foreigners already on deck, eager to 
obtain the first and fairest view of Fuji from 
the Pacific; — for the first sight of Fuji at 
dawn is not to be forgotten in this life or the 
next. They watched the long procession of 
the ranges, and looked over the jagged loom- 
ing into the deep night, where stars were 
faintly burning still, — and they coidd not see 
Fuji. "Ah!" laughed an officer they ques- 
tioned, "you are looking too lowl higher up 
— much higher I " Then they looked up, up, 
up into the heart of the sky, and saw the 
mighty siunmit pinkening like a wondrous 
phantom lotos-bud in the flush of the coming 
day: a spectacle that smote them dumb. 


Swiftly the eternal snow yellowed into gold, 
then whitened as the sun reached out beams 
to it over the curve of the world, over the 
shadowy ranges, over the very stars, it seemed; 
for the giant base remained viewless. And 
the night fled utterly; and soft blue light 
bathed all the hollow heaven; and colors 
awoke from sleep; — and before the gazers 
there opened the luminous bay of Yokohamaf 
with the sacred peak, its base ever invisible, 
hanging above all like a snowy ghost in the 
arch of tiie infinite day. 

Still in the wanderer's ears the words rang, 
"-4 A/ you are looking too low I — higher up 
— much higher / " — making vague rhythm 
with an immense, irresistible emotion sweU- 
ing at his heart. Then everything dimmed: 
he saw neither Fuji above, nor the near- 
ing hills below, changing their vapory blue 
to green; nor the crowding of the ships in 
the bay; nor anything of the modem Japan; 
he saw the Old. The land-wind, delicately 
scented with odors of spring, rushed to him, 
touched his blood, and startled from long-* 
closed cells of memory the shades of all that 
he had once abandoned and striven to forget. 


He saw the faces of his dead: he knew their 
voices over the graves of the years. Again 
he waa a very little boy in his father's ya- 
shiki, wandering from luminous room to room, 
playing in sunned spaces where leaf-shadows 
trembled on the matting, or gazing into the 
soft green dreamy peace of the landscape 
garden. Once more he felt the light touch 
of his mother's hand guiding his little steps 
to the place of morning worship, before the 
household shrine, before the tablets of the 
ancestors; and the lips of the man murmured 
again, with sudden new-found meaning, the 
simple prayer of the child. 



**Do you know anything about josses?" 


"Yes; idols, Japanese idols, — josses." 

"Something," I answered, "but not very 

"Well, come and look at my coUection, 
won't you? I've been coUecting josses for 
twenty years, and I 've got some worth seeing. 
They 're not for sale, though, — except to the 
British Museum." 

I followed the curio dealer through the 
bric-a-brac of his shop, and across a paved 
yard into an unusually large go-down.^ Like 
all go-downs it was dark: I could barely dis- 
cern a stairway sloping up through gloom. 
He paused at the foot. 

^ A name giyen to fireproof storehouses in the open ports 
<x£ the Far East. The word is deriyed from the Malay 


"You 'U be able to see better in a moment/' 
he said. "I had this place built expressly for 
them; but now it is scarcely big enough. 
They're all in the second story. Go right 
up; only be careful, — the steps are bad." 

I climbed, and reached a sort of gloaming, 
under a very high roof, and f oimd myself face 
to face with the gods. 

In the dusk of the great go-down the spec- 
tacle was more than weird: it was appari- 
tional. Arhats and Buddhas and Bodhisatt- 
vas, and the shapes of a mythology older than 
they, filled all the shadowy space; not ranked 
by hierarchies, as in a temple, but mingled 
without order, as in a silent panic. Out of 
the wilderness of multiple heads and broken 
aureoles and hands uplifted m menace or in 
prayer, — a shimmering confusion of dusty 
gold half lighted by cobwebbed air-holes in 
the heavy walls, — I could at first discern lit- 
tle; then, as the dinmess cleared, I began to 
distinguish personalities. I saw Kwannon, of 
many forms; Jizo, of many names; Shaka, 
Yakushi, Amida, the Buddhas and their dis- 
ciples. They were very old; and their art 
was not all of Japan, nor of any one place or 


time: there were shapes from Korea, China, 
India, — treasures brought over sea in the 
rich days of the early Buddhist missions. 
Some were seated upon lotos-flowers, the lotos- 
flowers of the Apparitional Birth. Some 
rode leopards, tigers, lions, or monsters mys- 
tical,— typifying lightning, typifying death. 
One, triple-headed and many-handed, sinister 
and splendid, seemed moving through the 
gloom on a throne of gold, uplifted by a pha- 
lanx of elephants. Fud5 I saw, shrouded and 
shrined in fire, and Maya-Fujin, riding her 
celestial peacock; and strangely mingling with 
these Buddhist visions, as in the anachronism 
of a Limbo, armored effigies of daimyo and 
images of the Chinese sages. There were 
huge forms of wrath, grasping thunderbolts, 
and rising to the roof: the Deva-kings, like 
impersonations of hurricane power; the Ni-0, 
guardians of long-vanished temple gates. 
Also there were forms voluptuously feminine : 
the light grace of the limbs folded within their 
lotos-cups, the suppleness of the fingers num- 
bering the numbers of the Good Law, were 
ideals possibly inspired in some forgotten time 
by the charm of an Indian dancing-girl. 


Shelved against the naked brickwork above, 
I could perceive multitudes of lesser shapes : 
demon figures with eyes that burned through 
the dark like the eyes of a black cat, and fig- 
ures half man, half bird, winged and beaked 
like eagles, — the Tengu of Japanese fancy. 

"Well?" queried the curio dealer, with a 
chuckle of satisfaction at my evident surprise. 

"It is a very great collection," I responded. 

He clapped his hand on my shoulder, and 
exclaimed triumphantly in my ear, "Cost me 
fifty thousand dollars." 

But the images themselves told me how 
much more was their cost to forgotten piety, 
notwithstanding the cheapness of artistic labor 
in the East. Also they told me of the dead 
miUions whose pilgrun feet had worn hollow 
the steps leadingT their shrines, of the bur- 
ied mothers who used to suspend little baby- 
dresses before their altars, of the generations 
of children taught to murmur prayers to them, 
of the countless sorrows and hopes confided to 
them. Ghosts of the worship of centuries had 
followed them into exile; a thin, sweet odor 
of incense haunted the dusty place. 

"What would you call that?" asked the 


voice of the curio dealer. ^'I've been told 
it 's the best of the lot." 

He pointed to a figure resting upon a triple 
golden lotos, — Avalokitesvara: she ^'who 
lookeih down above the sound of prayer." . . . 
Storms and hate give way to her name. Fire 
is quenched by her name. Demons vanish at 
the sound of her name. By her name one 
may stand firm in the shy^ like a sun. . . . 
The delicacy of the limbs, the tenderness of 
the smile, were dreams of the Indian para* 

"It is a Kwannon," I made reply, "and 
very beautiful," 

"Somebody will have to pay me a very 
beautiful price for it," he said, with a shrewd 
wink. "It CQst me enough! As a rule, 
though, I get these things pretty cheap. 
There are few people who care to buy them, 
and they have to be sold privately, you know : 
that gives me an advantage. See that joss in 
the comer, — the big black fellow? What 
is it? " 

"Enmiei-Jizo," I answered, — "Jizo, the 
pver of long life. It must be very old." 

"Well,"' he said, again taking me by the 


shoulder, ^^the man from whom I got that 
piece was put in prison for selling it to me." 

Then he burst into a hearty laugh, — 
whether at the recollection of his own cleyer- 
ness in the transaction, or at the unfortunate 
simplicity of the person who had sold the 
statue contrary to law, I could not decide. 

"Afterwards," he resumed, "they wanted 
to get it back again, and offered me more 
than I had given for it. But I held on. I 
don't know everything about josses, but I do 
know what they are worth. There is n't an- 
other idol like that in the whole country. 
The British Museum will be glad to get it." 

" When do you intend to offer the collection 
to the British Museum? " I presumed to ask. 

"Well, I first want to get up a show," 
he replied. "There 's money to be made by 
a show of josses in London. London peopi 
never saw anything like this in their lives. 
Then the church folks help that sort of a 
show, if you manage them properly : it adver- 
tises the missions. ^ Heathen idols from 
Japan!' . . . How do you like the baby?" 

I was looking at a small gold-colored image 
of a naked child, standing, one tiny hand 


pointing upward, and the other downward, — 
representing the Buddha newly born. Sparks 
ling with light he caine Jrom the wombj as 
when the Sun first rises in the east. . . . Up- 
right he took deliberately seven steps ; and the 
prints of his Jeet upon the ground remained 
burning as seven stars. And he spake with 
clearest utterance^ saying^ ^^ This birth is a 
Buddha birth. He-birth is not for me. Only 
this last time am I bom for the salvation of 
all on earth and in heaven.^^ 

"That is what they call a Tanjo-Shaka," I 
said. "It looks like bronze." 

"Bronze it is," he responded, tapping it 
with his knuckles to make the metal ring* 
"The bronze alone is worth more than the 
price I paid." 

I looked at the four Devas whose heads 
almost touched the roof, and thought of the 
story of their apparition told in the Maha- 
vagga. On a beautiful night the Four Great 
JKings entered the holy grove^ filling all the 
place with light ; and having respectfully sa- 
luted the Blessed One^ they stood in the four 
directions^ like four great firebrands. 

"How did you ever manage to get those 
big figures upstairs? " I asked. 


^' Oh, hauled them up I We ' ve got a hatch- 
way. The real trouble was getting them here 
by train. It was the first railroad trip they 
ever made. . . . But look at these here: the^ 
will make the sensation of the show! " 

I looked, and saw two small wooden images, 
about three feet high. 

^' Why do you think they will make a sen- 
sation?" I inquired innocently. 

"Don't you see what they are? They date 
from the time of the persecutions. Japanese 
devUs trampling on the Cross ! " 

They were small temple guardians only; 
but their feet rested upon X-shaped supports. 

"Did any person tell you these were devils 
trampling on the cross? " I made bold to ask. 

"What else are they doing?" he answered 
evasively. "Look at the crosses under their 

"But they are not devils," I insisted; "and 
those cross-pieces were put imder their feet 
simply to give equilibrium." 

He said nothing, but looked disappointed; 
and I felt a little sorry for him. DevUs 
trampling on the Cross^ as a display line in 
some London poster announcing the arrival of 


^^josses from Japan," might certainly have 
been relied on to catch the public eye. 

^^This is more wonderful," I said, pointing 
to a beautiful group, — Maya with the infant 
Buddha issuing from her side, according to 
tradition. Pairdesdy the Bodhisattva was 
horn from her right side. It was the eighth 
day of the fourth moon* 

^^That 's bronze, too," he remarked, tap- 
ping it. ^^ Bronze josses are getting rare. 
We used to buy them up and sell them for 
old metal. Wish I 'd kept some of them I 
You ought to have seen the bronzes, in those 
days, coming in from the temples, — bells and 
vases and josses I That was the time we tried 
to buy the Daibutsu at Kamakura." 

"For old bronze? " I queried. 

"Yes. We calculated the weight of the 
metal, and formed a syndicate. Our first 
offer was thirty thousand. We could have 
made a big profit, for there 's a good deal of 
gold and silver in that work. The priests 
wanted to sell, but the people wouldn't let 

"It's one of the world's wonders," I said. 
** Would you really have broken it up? " 


"Certainly. Why not? What else could 
you do with it? . . . That one there looks 
just like a Virgin Mary, doesn't it?" 

He pointed to the gilded image of a female 
clasping a child to her breast. 

"Yes," I replied; "but it is Kishibojin, 
the goddess who loves little children." 

"People talk about idolatry," he went on 
musingly. "I've seen things like many of 
these in Boman Catholic chapels. Seems to 
me religion is pretty much the same the world 

"I think you are right," I said. 

"Why, the story of Buddha is like the 
story of Christ, isn't it?" 

"To some degree," I assented. 

"Only, he wasn't crucified." 

I did not answer; thinking of the text, In 
all the world there is not one spot even so 
large as a mustard-seed where he has not sur- 
rendered his body for the sake of creatures. 
Then it suddenly seemed to me that this was 
absolutely true. For the Buddha of the 
deeper Buddhism is not Gautama, nor yet any 
one Tathagata, but simply the divine in man. 
Chrysalides of the infinite we all are : each 


contains a ghostly Buddha, and the millions 
are but one. All humanity is potentially the 
Buddha-to-come, dreaming through the ages 
in Elusion; and the teacher's smile will make 
beautiful the world again when selfishness 
shall die. Every noble sacrifice brings nearer 
the hour of his awakening; and who may 
jusUy doubt -remembering the myriads of 
the centuries of man — that even now there 
does not remain one place on earth where life 
has not been freely given for love or duty? 

I felt the curio dealer's hand on my shoul- 
der again. 

"At all events," he cried in a cheery tone, 
"they'll be appreciated in the British Mu- 
seum — eh?" 

"I hope^so. They ought to be." 

Then I fancied them immured somewhere 
in that vast necropolis of dead gods, under 
the gloom of a pea-soup-fog, chambered with 
forgotten divinities of Egypt or Babylon, and 
trembling faintly at the roar of London, — all 
to what end? Perhaps to aid another Alma 
Tadema to paint the beauty of another van- 
ished civilization; perhaps to assist the illuS'^ 


tration of an English Dictionary of Buddhism ; 
perhaps to inspire some f ature laureate with 
a metaphor startling as Tennyson's figure of 
the ^^ oiled and curled Assyrian bull." As- 
suredly they would not be preserved in vain. 
The thinkers of a less conventional and selfish 
era would teach new reverence for them. 
Each eidolon shaped by human faith remains 
the shell of a truth eternally divine; and even 
the shell itself may hold a ghostly power. 
The soft serenity, the passionless tenderness, 
of these Buddha faces might yet give peace 
of soul to a West weary of creeds transformed 
into conventions, eager for the coming of an- 
other teacher to proclaim, ^^ I have the same 
feeling for the high as for the lowj fcyr the 
moral as for the immoral^ for the depraved as 
for the virttuyus^ for those holding sectarian 
views and false opinions as for those whose 
bdiefs are good and true.^* 


'* If a Bikkha should desire, O brethren, to call to mind 
lus yarions temporary states in days gone by — such as one 
birth, two births, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, fifty, 
one hundred, or one thousand, or one hundred thousand 
births, — in all their modes and all their details, let him be 
devoted to quietude of heart, — let him look through things, 
let him be much alone." — Akankheyya Sutta, 

Were I to ask any reflecting Occidental, 
who had passed some years in the real living 
atmosphere of Buddhism, what fundamental 
idea especially differentiates Oriental modes 
of thinking from our own, I am sure he would 
answer: "The Idea of Preexistence." It is 
this idea, more than any other, which perme- 
ates the whole mental being of the Far East. 
It is universal as the wash of air: it colors 
every emotion ; it influences, directly or indi- 
rectly, almost every act. Its symbols are 


perpetually visible, even in details of artistic 
decoration; and hourly, by day or night, some 
echoes of its language float uninvited to the 
ear. The utterances of the people, — their 
household sayings, their proverbs, their pious 
or profane exclamations, their confessions of 
sorrow, hope, joy, or despair, — are all in- 
formed with it. It qualifies equally the ex- 
pression of hate or the speech of affection; 
and the term ingwa, or m/iew,— meaning 
karma as inevitable retribution, —comes nat- 
urally to every lip as an interpretation, as a 
consolation, or as a reproach. The peasant 
toiling up some steep road, and feeling the 
weight of his handcart straining every muscle, 
murmurs patiently: ^^ Since this is ingwa, it 
must be suffered." Servants disputing, ask 
each other, ''By reason of what ingwa must I 
now dwell with such a one as you?" The 
incapable or vicious man is reproached with 
his ingwa; and the misfortunes of the wise or 
the virtuous are explained by the same Bud- 
dhist word. The law-breaker confesses his 
crune, saying: "That which I did I knew to 
be wicked when doing; but my ingwa was 
stronger than my heart." Separated lovers 


seek death under the belief that their union 
in this life is banned by the results of their 
sins in a former one; and the victim of an 
injustice tries to allay his natural anger by 
tibe seM-aasnraiice that he is expiating some 
forgotten fault which had to be expiated in 
the eternal order of things. ... So likewise 
even the commonest references to a spiritual 
future imply the general creed of a spiritual 
past. The mother warns her little ones at 
play about the effect of wrong-doing upon 
their future births, as the children of other 
parents. The pilgrim or the street-beggar 
accepts your alms with the prayer that your 
next birth may be fortunate. The aged inhyo^ 
whose sight and hearing begin to fail, talks 
cheerily of the impending change that is to 
provide him with a fresh young body. And 
the expressions Tahuaohu^ signifying the 
Buddhist idea of necessity; mae no yo^ the 
last life; ahirame^ resignation, recur as fre- 
quently in Japanese common parlance as do 
the words "right" and "wrong" in English 
popular speech. 

After long dwelling in this psychological 
medium, you find that it has penetrated your 


own thought, and has effected therein various 
changes. AU concepts of life impUed by the 
idea of preexistence, — all those beliefs which, 
however sympathetically studied, must at first 
have seemed more than strange to you, — finally 
lose that curious or fantastic character with 
which novelty once invested them, and present 
themselves under a perfectly normal aspect. 
They explain so many things so well as even 
to look rational; and quite rational some as- 
suredly are when measured by the scientific 
thought of the nineteenth century. But to 
judge them fairly, it is first necessary to 
sweep the mind clear of all Western ideas of 
metempsychosis. For there is no resemblance 
between the old Occidental conceptions of 
soul — the Pythagorean or the Platonic, for 
example — and the Buddhist conception; and 
it is precisely because of this unlikeness that 
the Japanese beliefs prove themselves rea- 
sonable. The profound difference between 
old-fashioned Western thought and Eastern 
thought in this regard is, that for the Bud- 
dhist the conventional soul — the single, ten- 
uous, tremulous, transparent inner man, or 
ghost — does not exist. The Oriental Ego is 


not individual. Nor is it even a definitely 
numbered multiple like the Gnostic soul. It 
is an aggregate or composite of inconceivable 
complexity, — the concentrated sum of the 
creative thinking of previous lives beyond aU 


The interpretative power of Buddhism, and 
the singular accord of its theories with the 
facts of modem science, appear especially in 
that domain of psychology whereof Herbert 
Spencer has been the greatest of all explorers. 
No small part of our psychological life is com- 
posed of feelings which Western theology 
never could explain. Such are those which 
cause the still speechless infant to cry at the 
sight of certain faces, or to smile at the sight 
of others. Such are those instantaneous likes 
or dislikes experienced on meeting strangers, 
those repulsions or attractions called ''first 
impressions," which intelligent children are 
prone to announce with alarming frankness, 
despite all assurance that ''people must not 
be judged by appearances": a doctrine no 


child in Us heart believes. To call these 
feelings instinctive or intuitive, in the theo- 
logical meaning of instinct or intuition, ex- 
plains nothing at all — merely cuts ofE inquiry 
into the mystery of life, just like the special 
creation hypothesis. The idea that a personal 
impulse or emotion might be more than in- 
dividual, except through demoniacal posses- 
sion, still seems to old-fashioned orthodoxy 
a monstrous heresy. Yet it is now certain 
that most of our deeper feelings are super- 
individual, — both those which we classify as 
passional, and those which we call sublime. 
The individuality of the amatory passion is 
absolutely denied by science; and what is 
true of love at first sight is also true of hate : 
both are superindividual. So likewise are 
those vague impulses to wander which come 
and go with spring, and those vague depres- 
sions experienced in autumn, — survivals, per- 
haps, from an epoch in which human migra- 
tion followed the course of the seasons, or 
even from an era preceding the apparition of 
man. Superindividual also those emotions 
felt by one who, after having passed the 
greater part of a life on plain or prairies, first 


looks upon a range of snow-capped peaks; or 
the sensations of some dweUer in the interior 
of a continent when he first beholds the ocean, 
and hears its eternal thunder. The delight, 
always toned ynih awe, which the sight of a 
' stupendous landscape evokes; or that speech- 
less admiration, mingled with melancholy in- 
expressible, which the splendor of a tropical 
sunset creates, — never can be interpreted 
by individual experience. Psychological anal- 
ysis has indeed shown these emotions to be 
prodigiously complex, and interwoven with 
personal experiences of many kinds; but in 
either case the deeper wave of feeling is never 
individual: it is a surging up from that an- 
cestral sea of life out of which we came. To 
the same psychological category possibly be- 
longs likewise a peculiar feeling which troubled 
men's minds long before the time of Cicero, 
and troubles them even more betimes in our 
own generation,— the feeling of having al- 
ready seen a place really visited for the first 
time. Some strange air of familiarity about 
the streets of a foreign town, or the forms of 
a foreign landscape, comes to the mind with 
a sort of soft weird shock, and leaves one 


Tainly ransacking memory for interpretations. 
Occasionally, beyond question, similar sensa- 
tions are actually produced by the revival or 
recombination of former relations in conscious- 
ness; but there would seem to be many which 
remain wholly mysterious when we attempt to 
explain them by individual experience. 

Even in the most common of our sensations 
there are enigmas never to be solved by those 
holding the absurd doctrine that all feeling 
and cognition belong to individual experience, 
and that the mind of the child newly-born is 
a tabula rasa. The pleasure excited by the 
perfume of a flower, by certain shades of 
color, by certain tones of music ; the involun- 
tary loathing or fear aroused by the first sight 
of dangerous or venomous life ; even the name^ 
less terror of dreams, — are all inexplicable 
upon the old-fashioned soul-hypothesis. How 
deeply-reaching into the life of the race somo 
of these sensations are, such as the pleasure 
in odors and in colors, Grant Allen has most 
effectively suggested in his "Physiological 
JSsthetics," and in his charming treatise on 
the Color-Sense. But long before these were 
written, his teacher, the greatest of all psy- 


chologists, had clearly proven that the expe« 
rience-hypothesis was utterly inadequate to 
account for many classes of psychological phe- 
nomena. "If possible," observes Herbert 
Spencer, "it is even more at fault in respect 
to the emotions than to the cognitions. The 
doctrine that all the desires, all the senti- 
ments, are generated by the experiences of 
the individual, is so glaringly at variance with 
facts that I cannot but wonder how any one 
should ever have ventured to entertain it." 
It was Mr. Spencer, also, who showed us 
that words like "instinct," "intuition," have 
no true signification in the old sense; they 
must hereafter be used in a very different one. 
Instinct, in the language of modem psycho- 
logy, means "organized memory," and mem- 
ory itself is "incipient instinct," — the sum of 
impressions to be inherited by the next suc- 
ceeding individual in the chain of life. Thus 
science recognizes inherited memory: not in 
the ghostly signification of a remembering of 
the details of former lives, but as a minute 
addition to psychological life accompanied by 
minute changes in the structure of the inher- 
ited nervous system. "The human brain is 


an organized register of infinitely numerous 
experiences received during the evolution of 
life, or rather, during the evolution of that 
series of organisms through which the human 
organism has been reached. The effects of 
the most uniform and frequent of these ex- 
periences have been successively bequeathed, 
principal and interest ; and have slowly 
amounted to that high intelligence which lies 
latent in the brain of the infant — which the 
infant in after-life exercises and perhaps 
strengthens or further complicates — and 
which, with minute additions, it bequeaths to 
future generations."^ Thus we have solid 
physiological ground for the idea of preexist- 
ence and the idea of a multiple Ego. It is in- 
controvertible that in every individual brain 
is locked up the inherited memory of the abso- 
lutely inconceivable multitude of experiences 
received by all the brains of which it is the 
descendant. But this scientific assurance of 
self in the past is uttered in no materialistic 
sense. Science is the destroyer of material- 
ism: it has proven matter incomprehensible; 
and it confesses the mystery of mind insolu« 

^ FrindpUs of Fsycholagy : ^' The Feelings." 


ble, even while obliged to postulate an ulti« 
mate unit of sensation. Out of the units of 
simple sensation, older than we by millions 
of years, have imdoubtedly been built up all 
the emotions and faculties of man. Here Sci- 
ence, in accord with Buddhism, avows the 
Ego composite, and, like Buddhism, explains 
the psychical riddles of the present by the 
psychical experiences of the past. 


To many persons it must seem that the idea 
of Soul as an infinite multiple would render 
impossible any idea of religion in the Western 
sense; and those imable to rid themselves of 
old theological conceptions doubtless imagine 
that even in Buddhist countries, and despite 
the evidence of Buddhist texts, the faith of 
the common people is really based upon the 
idea of the soul as a single entity. But Japan 
furnishes remarkable proof to the contrary. 
The imeducated common people, the poorest 
country-folk who have never studied Bud- 
dhist metaphysics, beUeve the self composite. 
What is even more remarkable is that in the 


primitive faith, Shinto, a kindred doctrine 
exists; and various forms of the belief seem 
to characterize the thought of the Chinese and 
of the Koreans. All these peoples of the Far 
East seem to consider the soul compound, 
whether in the Buddhist sense, or in the prim- 
itive sense represented by Shinto (a sort of 
ghostly multiplying by fission), or in the fan- 
tastic sense elaborated by Chinese astrology. 
In Japan I have fully satisfied myself that the 
belief is universal. It is not necessary to 
quote here from the Buddhist texts, because 
the common or popular beliefs, and not the 
philosophy of a creed, can alone furnish evi- 
dence that religious fervor is compatible and 
consistent with the notion of a composite soul. 
Certainly the Japanese peasant does not think 
the psychical Self nearly so complex a thing 
as Buddhist philosophy considers it, or as 
Western science proves it to be. But he 
thinks of himsdf as mvltiple. The struggle 
within him between impulses good and evil 
he explains as a conflict between the various 
ghostly wills that make up his Ego; and his 
spiritual hope is to disengage his better self 
or selves from his worse selves, — Nirvana, 


or Ae mipreMoe U», hfiog attaunable ooij 
Anm^ die sarriralaf tlie best widim him. 
Tbns his feligion appears to be founded npon 
a Datnral peroeptioii of psychical erohitiaK 
not nearfy to remote from scientific thon^it 
as are those oonyentional notions of sool held 
by oar ocnnmon people at home. Of coarse 
his ideas on these abstract subjects are Tagoe 
and onsystematized; bat their general char^ 
acter and tendencies are omnistakable; and 
there can be no question whatever as to the 
earnestness of his faith, or as to the influence 
of that &ith upon his ethical life. 

Wherever belief survives among the edu- 
cated classes, the same ideas obtain defini- 
tion and synthesis. I may cite, in example, 
two selections from compositions, written by 
students aged respectively twenty-three and 
twenty-six. I might as easily cite a score; 
but the following will sufficiently indicate what 
I mean: — 

** Nothing 18 more foolish than to declare the immortality 
of the 8onl. The sonl is a compound ; and though its ele- 
ments be eternal, we know they can never twice combine in I 
exactly the same way. All compound things must change 
ihMr chamcter and their conditions." 


**Hiiinan life is composite. A combination of energies 
make the soul. When a man dies his sonl may either 
remain unchanged, or be changed according to that which it 
combines with. Some philosophers say the sonl is inmiortal ; 
some, that it is mortal. They are both right. The sonl is 
mortal or immortal according to the change of the combina- 
tions composing it. The elementary energies from which 
the sonl is formed are, indeed, eternal ; but the nature of 
the soul is determined by the character of the combinations 
into which those energies enter." 

Now the ideas expressed in these composi- 
tions will appear to the Western reader, at 
first view, unmistakably atheistic. Yet they 
are really compatible with the sincerest and 
deepest faith. It is the use of the English 
word "soul," not understood at all as we un- 
derstand it, which creates the false impres- 
sion. "Soul," in the sense used by the young 
writers, means an almost infinite combination 
of both good and evil tendencies, — ^ a com- 
pound doomed to disintegration not only by 
the very fact of its being a compound, but 
also by the eternal law of spiritual progress* 



That the idea, which has been for thousands 
of years so vast a factor in Oriental thought- 
life, should have failed to develop itself in 
the West till within our own day, is sufiK- 
ciently explained by Western theology. StiU, 
it would not be correct to say that theology 
succeeded in rendering the notion of preexist- 
ence absolutely repellent to Occidental minds. 
Though Christian doctrine, holding each soul 
specially created out of nothing to fit each 
new body, permitted no avowed beliefs in pre- 
existence, popular common-sense recognized 
a contradiction of dogma in the phenomena 
of heredity. In the same way, while theo- 
logy decided animals to be mere automata, 
moved by a sort of incomprehensible machin- 
ery called instinct, the people generally recog- 
nized that animals had reasoning powers, 
l-^he theories of instinct and of intuition held 
even a generation ago seem utterly barbarous 
to-day. They were commonly felt to be use- 
less as interpretations; but as dogmas they 
served to check speculation and to prevent 


heresy. Wordsworth's "Fidelity" and his 
marvelously overrated "Intimations of Immor- 
tality " bear witness to the extreme timidity 
and erudeness of Western notions on these 
subjects even at the beginning of the century. 
The love of the dog for his master is indeed 
"great beyond all human estimate," but for 
reasons Wordsworth never dreamed about; 
and although the fresh sensations of childhood 
are certamly mthnations of something much 
more wonderful than Wordsworth's denomina- 
tional idea of inmiortality, his famous stanza 
concerning them has been very justly con- 
demned by Mr. John Morley as nonsense. 
Before the decay of theology, no rational 
ideas of psychological inheritance, of the true 
nature of instinct, or of the unity of life, 
could possibly have forced their way to gen- 
eral recognition. 

But with the acceptance of the doctrine o£ 
evolution, old forms of thought crumbled; 
new ideas everywhere arose to take the place 
of worn-out dogmas; and we now have the 
spectacle of a general intellectual movement 
in directions strangely parallel with Oriental 
philosophy. The unprecedented rapidity and 


mnltif ormiiy of scientific progress during the 
last fifty years conld not have failed to pro- 
voke an equally unprecedented intellectual 
quickening among the non-scientific. That 
the highest and most complex organisms have 
been developed from the lowest and simplest; 
that a single physical basis of life is the sub- 
stance of the whole living world; that no line 
of separation can be drawn between the ani- 
mal and vegetable; that the difference between 
life and non-life is only a difference of degree, 
not of kind; that matter is not less incompre- 
hensible than mind, while both are but vary- 
ing manifestations of one and the same un- 
known reality, — these have already become 
the commonplaces of the new philosophy. 
After the first recognition even by theology of 
physical evolution, it was easy to predict that 
the recognition of psychical evolution could 
not be indefinitely delayed; for the barrier 
erected by old dogma to keep men from look- 
ing backward had been broken down. And 
to-day for the student of scientific psychology 
the idea of preexistence passes out of the 
realm of theory into the realm of fact, prov- 
ing the Buddhist explanation of the universal 


mystery quite as plausible as any other. 
"None but very hasty thinkers," wrote the 


late Professor Huxley, "will reject it on the 
ground of inherent absurdity. Like the doc- 
trine of evolution itself, that of transmigra- 
tion has its roots in the world of reality; and 
it may claim such support as the great argu- 
ment from analogy is capable of supplying." i 
Now this support, as given by Professor 
Huxley, is singularly strong. It offers us no 
glimpse of a single soul flitting from darkness 
to light, from death to rebirth, through myri<» 
ads of millions of years; but it leaves the 
main idea of preexistence almost exactly in 
the form enunciated by the Buddha himself. 
In the Oriental doctrine, the psychical person- 
aKty, like the individual body, is an aggre- 
gate doomed to disintegration By psyS 
personality I mean here that which distin- 
guishes mmd from mind, -the "me" from 
the "you " : that which we call self. To Bud- 
dMsm this is a temporary composite of iUu- 
sions. What makes it is the karma. What 
reincarnates is the karma, — the sum-total of 
the acts and thoughts of countless anterior 

1 Evolution and Ethics, p. 61 (ed. 1894). 


ezttlenoes, — each one of wluch, as an integer 
in lome great spiritual system of addition and 
sobtiaction, may affect all the rest. like & 
magnetism, the karma is transmitted from 
fonn to form, from phenomenon to phemme- 
non, determining ccmditions by combinations. 
The nltimate mysteiy of the conoentratiYe and 
creatire eflfects of karma the Buddhist ac- 
knowledges to be inscrutable; but the cohesicm 
of effects he dechures to be produced by tanha, 
the desire of life, corresponding to what Scho- 
penhaoer called the ^ will " to live. Now we 
find in Herbert Spencer's ** Biology " a cnrions 
parallel for this idea. He explains the trans- 
mission of tendencies, and their variations, 
by a theory of polarities, — polarities of the 
physiological unit. Between this theory of 
polarities and the Boddhist theory of tanha, 
the difference is much less striking than the 
resemblance. E^arma or heredity, tanha or 
polarity, are inexplicable as to their ultimate 
nature: Buddhism and Science are here at 
one. The fact worthy of attention is that 
both recognize the same phenomena under 
different names. 


The prodigious complexity of the methods 
by which Science has arrived at conclusions 
so strangely in harmony with the ancient 
thought of the East, may suggest the doubt 
whether those conclusions could ever be made 
clearly comprehensible to the mass of West- 
em minds. Certainly it would seem that just 
as the real doctrines of Buddhism can be 
taught to the majority of believers through 
forms only, so the philosophy of science can 
be conununicated to the masses through sug- 
gestion only, — suggestion of such facts, or 
arrangements of fact, as must appeal to any 
naturally intelligent mind. But the history 
of scientific progress assures the efficiency of 
this method; and there is no strong reason 
for the supposition that, because the processes 
of the higher science remain above the mental 
reach of the unscientific classes, the conclu- 
sions of that science will not be generally 
accepted. The dimensions and weights of 
planets ; the distances and the composition of 
stars; the law of gravitation; the signification 


of heat, light, and color; the nature of sonnd, 
vid a host of other scientific discoveries, are 
familiar to thousands quite ignorant of the 
details of the methods by which such know- 
ledge was obtained. Again we have evidence 
that every great progressive movement of 
science during the century has been followed 
by considerable modifications of popular be- 
liefs. Already the churches, though clinging 
still to the hypothesis of a specially-created 
soul, have accepted the main doctrine of phy- 
sical evolution; and neither fixity of belief 
nor intellectual retrogression can be rationally 
expected in the immediate future. Further 
changes of religious ideas are to be looked 
for; and it is even likely that they will be 
effected rapidly rather than slowly. Their 
exact nature, indeed, cannot be predicted; 
but existing intellectual tendencies imply that 
the doctrine of psychological evolution must 
be accepted, though not at once so as to set 
any final limit to ontological speculation; and 
that the whole conception of the Ego will be 
eventually transformed through the conse- 
quently developed idea of preexistence. 



More detailed consideration of these prob- 
abilities may be ventured. They will not, 
perhaps, be acknowledged as probabilities by 
'^rsons who regard science as a destroyer 
rather than a modifier. But such thinkers 
forget that religious feeling is something infi- 
nitely more profound than dogma; that it 
survives all gods and all forms of creed; and 
that it only widens and deepens and gathers 
power with intellectual expansion. That as 
mere doctrine religion will ultimately pass 
away is a conclusion to which the study of 
evolution leads; but that religion as feeling, 
or even as faith in the unknown power shap- 
ing equally a brain or a constellation, can 
ever utterly die, is not at present conceivable. 
Science wars only upon erroneous interpreta- 
tions of phenomena; it only magnifies the 
cosmic mystery, and proves that everything, 
however minute, is infinitely wonderful and 
incomprehensible. And it is this indubitable 
tendency of science to broaden beliefs and to 
magnify cosmic emotion which justifies the 


supposition that future modifications of West- 
em religious ideas will be totally unlike any 
modifications effected in the past; that the 
Occidental conception of Self will orb into 
something akin to the Oriental conception of 
Self; and that all present petty metaphysical 
notions of personality and individuality as 
realities per se will be annihilated. Already 
the growing popular comprehension of the 
facts of heredity, as science teaches them, in- 
dicates the path by which some, at least, of 
these modifications will be reached. In the 
coming contest over the great question of psy- 
chological evolution, common intelligence will 
follow Science along the line of least resist- 
ance ; and that line will doubtless be the study 
of heredity, since the phenomena to be consid- 
ered, however in themselves uninterpretable, 
are familiar to general experience, and afford 
partial answers to countless old enigmas. It 
is thus quite possible to imagine a coming 
form of Western religion supported by the 
whole power of synthetic philosophy; differ- 
ing from Buddhism mainly in the greater 
exactness of its conceptions; holding the soul 
as a composite; and teaching a new spiritual 
law resembling the doctrine of karma. 


An objection to this idea will, however, 
immediately present itself to many minds. 
Such a modification of belief, it will be 
averred, would signify the sudden conquest 
and transformation of feelings by ideas. 
''The world," says Herbert Spencer, "is not 
governed by ideas, but by feelings, to which 
ideas serve only as guides." How are the 
notions of a change, such as that supposed, 
to be reconciled with common knowledge of 
existing religious sentiment in the West, and 
the force of religious emotionalism? 

Were the ideas of preexistence and of the 
soul as multiple really antagonistic to West- 
em religious sentiment, no satisfactory answer 
could be made. But are they so antagonis- 
tic ? The idea of preexistence certainly is 
not; the Occidental mind is already prepared 
for it. It is true that the notion of Self as a 
composite, destined to dissolution, may seem 
little better than the materialistic idea of an- 
nihilation, — at least to those still unable to 
divest themselves of the old habits of thought. 
Nevertheless, impartial reflection will show 
that there is no emotional reason for dread- 
ing the disintegration of the Ego. Actually, 


though unwittiiigly, it is for this very disin* 
tegration that Christians and Buddhists alike 
perpetually pray. Who has not often wished 
to rid himself of the worse parts of his nature, 
of tendencies to folly or to wrong, of impulses 
to say or do unkind things, — of all that lower 
inheritance which still clings about the higher 
man, and weighs down his finest aspirations? 
Yet that of which we so earnestly desire the 
separation, the elimination, the death, is not 
less surely a part of psychological inherit- 
ance, of veritable Self, than are those younger 
and larger faculties which help to the realiza- 
tion of noble ideals. Bather than an end to 
be feared, the dissolution of Self is the one 
object of all objects to which our efforts 
should be turned. What no new philosophy 
can forbid us to hope is that the best elements 
of Self will thrill on to seek loftier afi^ities, 
to enter into grander and yet grander com- 
binations, till the supreme revelation comes, 
and we discern, through infinite vision,— 
through the vanishing of all Self, — the Abso- 
lute Beality. 

For while we know that even the so-called 
elements themselves are evolving, we have no 


proof that anything utterly dies. That we 
are is the certainty that we have been and 
will be. We have survived countless evolu- 
tions, countless universes. We know that 
through the Cosmos all is law. No chance 
decides what units shall form the planetary 
core, or what shall feel the sun ; what shall be 
locked in granite and basalt, or shall multiply 
in plant and in animal. So far as reason can 
venture to infer from analogy, the cosmical 
history of every ultimate unit, psychological 
or physical, is determined just as surely and 
as exactly as in the Buddhist doctrine of 


The influence of Science will not be the 
only factor in the modification of Western 
religious beliefs : Oriental philosophy will cer- 
tainly furnish another. Sanscrit, Chinese, 
and Pali scholarship, and the tireless labor of 
philologists in all parts of the East, are rap- 
idly famiKarizing Europe and America with 
all the great forms of Oriental thought; Bud- 
dhism is being studied with interest throughout 


the Occident; and tlie resolts of these studies 
are yearly showing themselTes more and more 
definitely in the mental products of the highest 
coltore. The schools of philosophy are not 
more visibly affected than the literature of 
the period. Proof that a reconsideration of 
the problem of the Ego is evetywhere forcing 
itself upon Occidental minds, may be found 
not only in the thoughtful prose of the time, 
but even in its poetry and its romance. Ideas 
impossible a generation ago are changing cnr- 
rent thought, destroying old tastes, and devel- 
oping higher feelings. Creative art, working 
under larger inspiration, is telling what abso- 
lutely novel and exquisite sensations, what 
hitherto unimaginable pathos, what marvel- 
ous deepening of emotional power, may be 
gained in literature with the recognition of 
the idea of preexistence. Even in fiction we 
learn that we have been living in a hemi- 
sphere only ; that we have been thinking but 
half -thoughts ; that we need a new faith to 
join past with future over the great parallel 
of the present, and so to round out our emo- 
tional world into a perfect sphere. The clear 
conviction that the self is multiple, however 


paradoxical the statement seem, is the abso- 
lutely necessary step to the vaster conviction 
that the many are One, that life is unity, that 
there is no finite, but only infinite. Until 
that blind pride which imagines Self unique 
shall have been broken down, and the Jeeling 
of self and of selfishness shall have been ut- 
terly decomposed, the knowledge of the Ego 
as infinite, — as the very Cosmos, — never 
can be reached. 

Doubtless the simple emotional conviction 
that we have been in the past will be de- 
veloped long before the intellectual convic- 
tion that the Ego as one is a fiction of selfish- 
ness. But the composite nature of Self must 
at last be acknowledged, though its mystery 
remain. Science postulates a hypothetical 
psychological unit as well as a hypothetical 
physiological unit; but either postulated entity 
defies the uttermost power of mathematical 
estimate, — seems to resolve itself into pure 
ghostliness. The chemist, for working pur- 
poses, must imagine an ultimate atom; but 
the fact of which the imagined atom is the 
symbol may be a force centre only, — nay, a 


void, a vortex, an emptiness, as in Buddhist 
concept. ^^ Form is emptiness^ and emptiness 
is fomi. What is form^ that is emptiness; 
what is emptiness^ that is form. Perception 
and conception^ name and knowledge^ — all 
these are emptiness J^^ For science and for 
Buddlusm alike the cosmos resolves itself 
into a vast phantasmagoria, - a mere play 
of unknown and immeasurable forces. Bud- 
dhist faith, however, answers the questions 
" Whence ? " and " Whither ? " in its own fash- 
ion, — and predicts in every great cycle of 
evolution a period of spiritual expansion in 
which the memory of former births returns, 
and all the future simultaneously opens before 
the vision unveiled, — even to the heaven of 
heavens. Science here remains dumb. But 
her silence is the Silence of the Gnostics, — 
Sig^, the Daughter of Depth and the Mother 
of Spirit. 

What we may allow ourselves to believe, 
with the full consent of Science, is that mar- 
velous revelations await us. Within recent 
time new senses and powers have been devel- 
oped, — the sense of music, the ever-growing 
faculties of the mathematician. Reasonably 


It may be expected that still higher unimagin- 
able faculties will be evolved in our descend- 
ants. Again it is known that certain mental 
capacities, undoubtedly inherited, develop in 
old age only ; and the average life of the hu- 
man race is steadily lengthening. With in- 
creased longevity there surely may come into 
sudden being, through the unfolding of the 
larger future brain, powers not less wonderful 
than the ability to remember former births. 
The dreams of Buddhism can scarcely be sur- 
passed, because they touch the infinite; but 
who can presume to say they never will be 


It may be necessary to remind some of those kind 
enough to read the foregoing that the words *' soul," 
" self," " ego," " transmigration," " heredity," although 
freely used by me, conyey meanings entirely foreign 
to Buddhist philosophy. " Soul," in the English sense 
of the word, does not exist for the Buddhist <' Self " 
is an illusion, or rather a plexus of illusions. " Trans- 
migration," as the passing of soul from one body to 
another, is expressly denied in Buddhist texts of un- 
questionable authority. It will therefore be evident 
that the real analogy which does exist between the do<y 


trine of karma and the scientific facts of heredity is far 
from complete. Karma sig^nifies the survival, not of 
the same composite individuality, but of its tendencies, 
which recombine to form a new composite individuality. 
The new being does not necessarily take even a human 
form : the karma does not descend from parent to 
child ; it is independent of the line of heredity, al- 
though physical conditions of life seem to depend upon 
karma. The karma-being of a beggar may have re- 
birth in the body of a king ; that of a king in the body 
of a beggar ; yet the conditions of either reincarnation 
have been predetermined by the influence of karma. 

It will be asked, What then is the spiritual element 
in each being that continues unchanged, — the spiritual 
kernel, so to speak, within the shell of karma, — the 
power that makes for righteousness ? If soul and body 
alike are temporary composites, and the karma (itself 
temporary) the only source of personality, what is the 
worth or meaning of Buddhist doctrine ? What is it 
that suffers by karma ; what is it that lies within the 
illusion, — that makes progress, — that attains Nir- 
"Vana ? Is it not a selff Not in our sense of the word. 
The reality of what we call self is denied by Buddhism. 
That which forms and dissolves the karma ; that which 
makes for righteousness ; that which reaches Nirvana, 
is not our Ego in our Western sense of the word. Then 
what is it ? It is the divine in each being. It is called 
In Japanese MugOr^Khtaiga, — the Great Self-without- 
selfishness. There is no other true self. The self 
wrapped in illusion is called Nyorauzo, — (Tathagata- 


gharba), — the Buddha yet nnbom, as one in a womb. 
The Infinite exists potentially in eyery being. That is 
the Reality. The other self is a falsity, — a lie, — a 
mirage. The doctrine of extinction refers only to the 
extinction of illusions ; and those sensations and feel- 
ings and thoughts, which belong to this life of the flesh 
alone, are the illusions which make the complex illusive 
self. By the total decomposition of this false self, — 
as by a tearing away of yeils, the Infinite Vision comes. 
There is no ** soul ** : the Infinite All-Soul is the only 
eternal principle in any being ; — all the rest is dream. 

What remains in Nirvana ? According to one school 
of Buddhism potential identity in the infinite, — so that 
a Buddha, after having reached Nirvana, can return to 
earth. According to another, identity more than po- 
tential, yet not in our sense ** personal." A Japanese 
friend says : — "I take a piece of gold, and say it is 
one. But this means that it produces on my visual 
organs a single impression. Really in the multitude of 
atoms composing it each atom is nevertheless distinct 
and separate, and independent of every other atom. 
In Buddhahood even so are united psychical atoms 
innumerable. They are one as to condition ; — yet 
each has its own independent existence." 

But in Japan the primitive religion has so affected 
the common class of Buddhist beliefs thiCt it is not in- 
correct to speak of the Japanese ** idea of self." It is 
only necessary that the popular Shinto idea be simul- 
taneously considered. In Shinto we have the plainest 
possible evidence of the conception of soul. But this 


soul is a composite, — not a mere ^bundle of senaa- 
tions, peroeptionsy and volitionfly'' like the karma-being, 
but a number of souIb united to form one ghostly per- 
sonality. A dead man's ghost may appear as one or 
as many. It can separate its units, each of which 
remains capable of a special independent action. Such 
separation, however, appears to be temporary, the Tari- 
ous souls of the composite naturally cohering even 
after death, and reuniting after any yoluntary separa- 
tion. The vast mass of the Japanese people are both 
Buddhists and Shintoists ; but the primitiye belief 
concerning the self are certainly the most powerful, 
and in the blending of the two faiths remain distinctly 
recognizable. They haye probably supplied to conmion 
imagination a natural and easy explanation of the diffi- 
culties of the karmardoctrine, though to what extent 
I am not prepared to say. Be it also observed that in 
the primitiye as well as in the Buddhist form of belief 
the self is not a principle transmitted from parent to 
ofiEspring, — not an inheritance always dependent upon 
physiological descent. 

These facts will indicate how wide is the difPerence 
between Eastern ideas and our own upon the subject 
of the preceding essay. They will also show that any 
general consideration of the real analogies existing be- 
tween this strange combination of Far-Eastern beliefs 
and the scientific thought of the nineteenth century 
could scarcely be made intelligible by strict philoso 
phical accuracy in the use of terms relating to the idea 
of self. Indeed, there are no European words capable 


of rendering the exact meaning of the Buddhist termi 
belonginjgf to Buddhist idealism. 

Perhaps it may be regarded as illegitimate to wander 
from that position so tersely enunciated by Professor 
Huxley in his essay on << Sensation and the Sensif erous 
Organs : " '< In ultimate analysis it appears that a sen- 
sation is the equivalent in terms of consciousness for a 
mode of motion of the matter of the sensorium. But 
if inquiry is pushed a stage further, and the question is 
asked, What, then, do we know about matter and mo- 
tion? there is but one reply possible. Ail we know 
about motion is that it is a name for certain changes in 
the relations of our visual, tactile, and muscular sen- 
sations ; and all we know about matter is that it is 
the hypothetical substance of physical phenomena, (ke 
assumption of which is as pure a piece of metaphysical 
speculation as is that of a substance ofnUnd.** But meta- 
physical speculation certainly will not cease because of 
scientific recognition that ultimate truth is beyond the 
utmost possible range of human knowledge. Rather, 
for that very reason, it will continue. Perhaps it will 
never wholly cease. Without it there can be no further 
modification of religions beliefs, and without modifica- 
tions there can be no reUgious progress in harmony 
with scientific thought. Therefore, metaphysical spec- 
ulation seems to me not only justifiable, but necessary. 

Whether we accept or deny a substance of mind; 
whether we imagine thought produced by the play of 
some unknown element through the cells of the brain. 


as music is made by the play of wind throngh the 
strings of a harp ; whether we regard the motion itself 
as a special mode of vibration inherent in and peculiar 
to the units of the cerebral stmctore, — still the mystery 
is infinite, and still Buddhism remains a noble moral 
working-hypothesis, in deep accord with the aspirations 
of mankind and with the laws of ethical progression. 
Whether we believe or disbelieve in the reality of that 
which is called the material universe, still the ethical 
significance of the inexplicable laws of heredity — of 
the transmission of both racial and personal tendencies 
in the imspecialissed reproductive cell — remains to 
justify the doctrine of karma. Whatever be that which 
foakes consciousness, its relation to all the past and to 
all the future is unquestionable. Nor can the doc- 
trine of Nirvana ever cease to command the profound 
respect of the impartial thinker. Science has found 
evidence that known substance is not less a product 
of evolution than mind, — that all our so-called " ele- 
ments " have been evolved out of '' one primary undif- 
ferentiated form of matter." And this evidence is 
startlingly suggestive of some underlying truth in the 
Buddhist doctrine of emanation and illusion, — the evo- 
lution of all forms from the Formless, of all material 
phenomena from immaterial Unity, — and the ultimate 
return of all into ^ that state which is empty of lusts, 
of malice, of dullness, — that state in which the excite^ 
ments of individuality are known no more, and which is 
therefore designated The Void Supbeme." 



China's cUef ally in the late 'war, being 
deaf and blind, knew nothing, and still knows 
nothing, of treaties or of peace. It followed 
the returning armies of Japan, invaded the 
victorious empire, and killed about thir^ 
thousand people during the hot season. It is 
still slaying ; and the f uneral-pjrres burn ooi 
tinually. Sometimes the smoke and the odoi 
come wind-blown into my garden down from 
the hills behind the town, just to remind me 
that the cost of burning an adult of my own 
size is eighty sen, — about half a dollar in 
American money at the present rate of ex- 

From the upper balcony of my house, the 
whole length of a Japanese street, with its 
rows of little shops, is visible down to the bay. 
Out of various houses in that street I have 


seen oholera-patients conveyed to the hospital, 
— the last one (only this morning) my neigh* 
bor across the way, who kept a porcelain shop. 
He was removed by force, in spite of the tears 
and cries of his family. The sanitary law 
forbids the treatment of cholera in private 
houses ; yet people try to hide their sick, in 
spite of fines and other penalties, because the 
public cholera-hospitals are overcrowded and 
roughly managed, and the patients are en« 
tirely separated from all who love them. But 
the police are not often deceived : they soon 
discover unreported cases, and come with lit- 
ters and coolies. It seems cruel ; but sanitary 
law must be cruel. My neighbor's wife fol- 
lowed the litter, crying, until the police 
obliged her to return to her desolate little 
shop. It is now closed up, and will probably 
never be opened again by the owners. 

Such tragedies end as quickly as they begin. 
The bereaved, so soon as the law allows, re- 
move their pathetic belongings, and disap- 
pear ; and the ordinary life of the street &:oes 

particular had happened. Itinerant venders, 
with their bamboo poles and baskets or buck* 


ets or boxes, pass the emply houses, and utter 
their accustomed 'cries; religious processions 
go by, chanting fragments of sutras ; the 
blind shampooer blows his melancholy whis- 
tle; the private watchman makes his heavy 
staff boom upon the gutter-jQags ; the boy 
who sells confectionery still taps his drum, 
and sings a love-song with a plaintive sweet 
voice, like a girl's : — 

<< Tou and I together. ... I remained long ; 
yet in the moment of going I thought I had only 
just some. 

<^ You and I together, . . . Still I think of the 
tea. Old or new tea of Uji it might have seemed 
to others ; but to me it was Gyokoro tea, of the 
beautif ol yellow of the yamabuki flower. 

^' Tou and I together, ... I am the telegraph- 
operator ; you are the one who waits the message. 
I send my heart, and you receive it. What care 
we now if the posts should fall, if the wires be 
broken ? " 

And the children sport as usuaL They chase 
one another with screams and laughter ; they 
dance in chorus ; they catch dragon-flies and 
tie them to long strings ; they sing burdens of 
the war, about cutting off Chinese heads : — 


*' Chan-<^n bozu no 

Sometimes a child vanislies ; but the survivii 
ors continue their play. And this is wisdom. 

It costs only forty-four sen to bum a child. 
The son of one of my neighbors was burned a 
few days ago. The little stones with which he 
used to play lie there in the sun just as he left 
them. . . . Curious, this child-love of stones ! 
Stones are the toys not only of the children of 
the poor, but of all children at one period of 
existence : no matter how well supplied with 
other playthings, every Japanese child wants 
sometimes to play with stones. To the child- 
mind a stone is a marvelous thing, and ought 
so to be, since even to the understanding of 
the mathematician there can be nothing more 
wonderful than a common stone. The tiny 
urchin suspects the stone to be much more 
than it seems, which is an excellent suspi- 
cion; and if stupid grown-up folk did not 
untruthfully tell him that his plaything is not 
worth thinking about, he would never tire of 
it, and would always be finding something new 
and extraordinary in it Only a verjr grea* 


mind could answer all a child's questions 
about stones. 

According to popular faith, my neighbor's 
darUng is now playing with small ghostly 
stones in the Dry Bed of the Eiver of Souls, 
— wondering, perhaps., why they cast no 
shadows. The true poetry in the legend of 
the Sai-no-Kawara is the absolute naturalness 
of its principal idea, — the phantom-continua- 
tion of that play which all little Japanese 
children play with stones. 


The pipe - stem seller used to make his 
round with two large boxes suspended from 
a bamboo pole balanced upon his shoulder: 
one box containing stems of various diameters, 
lengths, and colors, together with tools for 
fitting them into metal pipes; and the other 
box containing a baby, — his own baby. Some- 
times I saw it peeping over the edge of the 
box, and smiling at the passers-by ; sometimes 
I saw it lying, well wrapped up and fast 
asleep, in the bottom of the box ; sometimes I 
saw it playing with toys. Many people, I was 


told, used to give it toys. One of the toys 
bore a curious resemblance to a mortuary tab- 
let (ihai) ; and this I always observed in the 
box, whether the child were asleep or awake. 

The other day I discovered that the pipe- 
stem seller had abandoned his bamboo pole 
and suspended boxes. He was coming: up the 
street Jith a Utde W^ just big enough 
to hold his wares and his baby, and evidently 
built for that purpose in two compartments. 
Perhaps the baby had become too heavy for 
the more primitive method of conveyance. 
Above the cart fluttered a small white flag, 
bearing in cursive characters the legend JSl^ 
seru-rao kae (pipe-stems exchanged), and a 
brief petition for " honorable help," O-tasuM 
wo negaimasu. The child seemed well and 
happy ; and I again saw the tablet-shaped ob- 
ject which had so often attracted my notice 
before. It was now fastened upright to a 
high box in the cart facing the infant's bed. 
As I watched the cart approaching, I suddenly 
felt convinced that the tablet was really an 
ihai: the sun shone full upon it, and there 
was no mistaking the conventional Buddhist 
text. This aroused my curiosity ; and I asked 


Manyemon to tell the pipe-stem seller that we 
had I.».W»fpip»'L!:ig feed, «.o^_ 

which was true. Presently the cartlet drew 
up at our gate, and I went to look at it. 

The child was not afraid, even of a tori 
eign face,— a pretty boy. He Ksped and 
laughed and held out his arms, being evidently 
used to petting ; and whUe playing with hun 
I looked closely at the tablet. It was a Shin- 
shu ihai, bearing a woman's kaimyo, or post- 
humous name ; and Manyemon translated the 
Chinese characters for me : Severed and of 
good rank in the Mansion of Meedlence^ the 
thirty-first day of the third month of the 
twenty-eighth year of Meiji, Meantime a ser- 
vant had fetched the pipes which needed new 
stems ; and I glanced at the face of the arti- 
san as he worked. It was the face of a man 
past middle age, with those worn, sympathetic 
lines about the mouth, dry beds of old smiles, 
which give to so many Japanese faces an in- 
describable expression of resigned gentieness. 
Presently Manyemon began to ask questions ; 
and when Manyemon asks questions, not to 
reply is possible for the wicked only. Some- 
times behind that dear innocent old head I 


think I see the dawning of an aureole, — the 
aureole of the Bosatsu. 

The pipe-stem seller answered by telling his 
story. Two months after the birth of their 
little boy, his wife had died. In the last hour 
of her illness she had said : ^' From what time 
I die till three full years be past I pray you 
to leave the child always united with the 
Shadow of me : never let him be separated 
from my ihai, so that I may continue to care 
for him and to nurse him — since thou hnow- 
est that he should have the breast for three 
years. This, my last asking, I entreat thee, 
do not forget." But the mother being dead, 
the father could not labor as he had been wont 
to do, and also take care of so young a child, 
requiring continual attention both night and 
day ; and he was too poor to hire a nurse. So 
he took to selling pipe-stems, as he could thus 
make a little money without leaving the child 
even for a minute alone. He could not afford 
to buy milk; but he had fed the boy for 
more than a year with rice gruel and ame 

I said that the child looked very strong, and 
none the worse for lack of milk. 


'^ That," declared Manyemon, in a tone of 
conviction bordering on reproof, ^'is because 
the dead mother nurses him. How should he 
want for milk ? " 

And the boy laughed softly, as if conscious 
of a ghostly caress. 



"For twelve leagnes, Ananda, around the Sala-GiOTO, 
ihere is no spot in size even as the pricking of the pcnnt of 
the tip of a hair, which is not pervaded by powerful 
■{nritB."— The Bock of the Great Beceaae. 

The truth that ancestor-worship, in yarioos 
unobtrusive forms, still survives in some of the 
most highly civilized countries of Europe, is 
not so widely known as to preclude the idea 
that any non- Aryan race actually practicing 
so primitive a cult must necessarily remain 
in the primitive stage of religious thought. 
Critics of Japan have pronounced this hasty 
judgment ; and have professed themselves un- 
able to reconcile the facts of her scientific 
progress, and the siiccess of her advanced edu- 
cational system, with the continuance of her 
ancestor-worship. How can the beliefs of 
Shinto coexist with the knowledge of modem 


science? How can the men who wm distinc 
tion as scientific specialists still respect the 
household shrine or do reverence before the 
Shinto parish-temple? Can all this mean 
more than the ordered conservation of forms 
after the departure of faith ? Is it not certain 
that with the further progress of education, 
Shinto, even as oeremonialiBm, must oease to 

Those who put such questions appear to 
forget that similar questions might be asked 
about the continuance of any Western faith, 
and similar doubts expressed as to the pos- 
sibility of its survival for another century. 
Eeally the doctrines of Shinto are not in the 
least degree more irreconcilable with modem 
science than are the doctrines of Orthodox 
Christianity. Examined with perfect impar- 
tiality, I would even venture to say that they 
are less irreconcilable in more respects than 
one. They conflict less with our human ideas 
of justice ; and, like the Buddhist doctrine of 
karma, they offer some very striking analo- 
gies with the scientific facts of heredity, — 
analogies which prove Shinto to contain an 
element of truth as profound as any single 


element of tmth in any of the world's great 
religions. Stated in the simplest possible 
form, the peculiar element of truth in Shinto 
is the belief that the world of the living is 
directly governed by the world of the dead. 

That every impulse or act of man is the 
work of a god, and that all the dead become 
gods, are the basic ideas of the cult. It must 
be remembered, however, that the term Kami, 
although translated by the term deity, divinity, 
or god, has really no such meaning as that 
which belongs to the English words : it has 
not even the meaning of those words as refer- 
ring to the antique beUef s of Greece and 
Bome. It signifies that which is '^ above," 
" superior,'* " upper," " eminent," in the non- 
religious sense ; in the religious sense it signi- 
fies a human spirit having obtained super- 
natural power after death. The dead are the 
" powers above," the " upper ones," — the Kami. 
We have here a conception resembling very 
strongly the modem Spiritualistic notion of 
ghosts, — only that the Shinto idea is in no 
true sense democratic. The Kami are ghosts 
of greatly varying dignity and power, — be- 
longing to spiritual hierarchies like the hier* 


archies of ancient Japanese society. Although 
essentially superior to the living in certain 
respects, the living are, nevertheless, able to 
give them pleasure or displeasure, to gratify 
or to offend them, — even sometimes to ame- 
liorate their spiritual condition. Wherefore 
posthumous honors are never mockeries, but 
realities, to the Japanese mind. During the 
present year,^ for example, several distin- 
guished statesmen and soldiers were raised to 
higher rank immediately after their death; 
and I read only the other day, in the official 
gazette, that '^ His Majesty has been pleased 
to posthumously confer the Second Class of 
the Order of the Bising Sun upon Major-Gen- 
eral Baron Yamane, who lately died in For- 
mosa." Such imperial acts must not be re- 
garded only as formalities intended to honor 
the memory of brave and patriotic men ; 
neither should they be thought of as intended 
merely to confer distinction upon the family 
of the dead. They are essentially of Shinto, 
and exemplify that intimate sense of relation 
between the visible and invisible worlds which 
is the special religious characteristic of Japan 

^ Written in September, 1805. 


among all civilized oonntries. To Japanese 

ihougfat the dead are not less Teal than the 

living. They take part in the daily life of 

the people, — sharing the humblest sorrows 
and the homblest joys. They attend the 

family repasts, watch over the well-being of 
the household, assist and rejoice in the pros- 
perity of their descendants. They are present 
at the public pageants, at all the sacred festi- 
vals of Shint5, at the military games, and at 
all the entertainments especially provided for 
them. And they are universally thought of 
as finding pleasure in the offerings made to 
them or the honors conferred upon them. 

For the purpose of this little essay, it will 
be sufi&cient to consider the Kami as the 
spirits of the dead, — without making any at- 
tempt to distinguish such Kami from those 
primal deities believed to have created the 
land. With this general interpretation of the 
term Ka>mi, we return, then, to the great 
Shinto idea that all the dead still dwell in the 
world and rule it ; influencing not only the 
thoughts and the acts of men, but the condi- 
tions of nature. " They direct," wrote Moto- 
wori, " the changes of the seasons, the wind 


and the ram, the good and the bad fortunes of 
states and of individual men." They are, in 
short, the viewless forces behind all phenom- 


The most interesting sub -theory of this 
ancient spiritualism is that which explains the 
impulses and acts of men as due to the influ- 
ence of the dead. This hypothesis no mod- 
em thinker can declare irrational, since it 
can claim justification from the scientific doc- 
trine of psychological evolution, according to 
which ^h Hving brain represents the struc 
tural work of innumerable dead lives, — each 
character a more or less imperfectly balanced 
sum of countless dead experiences with good 
and evil. Unless we deny psychological he- 
redity, we cannot honestly deny that our im- 
pulses and feelings, and the higher capacities 
evolved through the feelings, have literally 
been shaped by the dead, and bequeathed to 
us by the dead; and even that the general 
direction of our mental activities has been 
determined by the power of the special ten- 
dencies bequeathed to us. In such a sense 


the dead are indeed our Kami; and all our 
actions are truly influenced by them. Figura- 
tively we may say that every mind is a world 
of ghosts, — ghosts incomparably more numer- 
ous than the acknowledged millions of the 
higher Shinto Kami; and that the spectral 
population of one grain of brain-matter more 
than realizes the wildest fancies of the mediae- 
val schoolmen about the number of angels 
able to stand on the point of a needle. Scien- 
tifically we know that within one tiny living 
cell may be stored up the whole life of a race, 
— the sum of all the past sensation of mil- 
lions of years ; perhaps even (who knows ?) of 
millions of dead planets. 

But devils would not be inferior to angels 
in the mere power of congregating upon the 
point of a needle. What of bad men and of 
bad acts in this theory of Shinto ? Motowori 
made answer: "Whenever anything goes 
wrong in the world, it is to be attributed to 
the action of the evil gods called the Gods of 
Crookedness, whose power is so great that the 
Sun-Goddess and the Creator-God are some- 
times powerless to restrain them ; much less 
are human beings always able to resist their 


influence. The prosperity of the wicked, and 
the misfortunes of the good, which seem op« 
posed to ordinary justice, are thus explained." 
All bad acts are due to the influence of evil 
deities ; and evil men may become evil Kami. 
There are no self-contradictions in this sim- 
plest of cults,^ — nothing complicated or hard 
to be understood. It is not certain that all 
men guilty of bad actions necessarily become 
" gods of crookedness," for reasons hereafter 
to be seen ; but all men, good or bad, become 
Kami, or influences. And all evil acts are 
the results of evil influences. 

Now this teaching is in accord with certain 
facts of heredity. Our best faculties are cer- 
tainly bequests from the best of our ancestors ; 

^ I am oonsideriiig only the pnre Shinto belief as ex- 
pounded by Shinto scholars. But it may be necessary to 
remind the reader that both Bnddhism and Shintoism are 
blended in Japan, not only with each other, bnt with Chi- 
nese ideas of yarious kinds. It is donbtful whether the 
pure Shinto ideas now exist in their original form in popular 
belief. We are not quite dear as to the doctrine of multi- 
ple souls in Shinto, — whether the psychical combination 
was originally thought of as dissolved by death. My own 
opinion, the result of investigation in 'different parts of 
Japan, is that the multiple soul was formerly believed to 
remain multiple after death. 


our evil qualities are inherited from natures 
in which evil, or that which we now call evil, 
once predominated. The ethical knowledge 
evolyed within as by ciyilization demands that 
we strengthen the high powers bequeathed ns 
by the best experience of onr dead, and dimin- 
ish the force of the baser tendencies we inherit. 
We are under obligation to reyerence and to 
obey onr good Kami, and to striye against 
our gods of crookedness. The knowledge of 
the existence of both is old as human reason. 
In some form or other, the doctrine of evil 
and of good spirits in personal attendance 
upon every soul is common to most of the 
great religions. Our own medisBval faith de- 
veloped the idea to a degree which must leave 
an impress on our language for all time ; yet 
the faith in guardian angels and tempting 
demons evolutionally represents only the de- 
velopment of a cult once simple as the religion 
of the Eimi. And this theory of mediaeval 
faith is likewise pregnant with truth. The 
white-winged form that whispered good into 
the right ear, the black shape that murmured 
evil into the left, do not indeed walk beside the 
man of the nineteenth century, but they dwell 


within his brain; and he knows their voices 
and feels their urging as well and as often 
as did his ancestors of the Middle Ages. 

The modem ethical objection to Shinto is 
that both good and evil Kami are to be re- 
spected. ''Just as the Mikado worshiped 
the gods of heaven and of earth, so his people 
prayed to the good gods in order to obtain 
blessings, and performed rites in honor of the 
bad gods to avert their displeasure. ... As 
there are bad as well as good gods, it is neces- 
sary to propitiate them with offerings of 
agreeable food, with the playing of harps and 
tS blowing of flutes, wi^ S^^ing 3 dan- 
cing, and with whatever else is likely to put 
them in good-humor." ^ As a matter of fact, 
in modem Japan, the evil Kami appear to re- 
ceive few offerings or honors, notwithstanding 
this express declaration that they are to be 
propitiated. But it will now be obvious why 
the early missionaries characterized such a cult 
as devil-worship, — although, to Shinto im- 
agination, the idea of a devil, in the Western 
meaning of the word, never took shape. The 
seeming weakness of the doctrine is in the 

^ Motowori, translated by Satow. 


teaching that evil spirits are not to be warred 
upon, — a teaching essentially repellent to 
Boman Catholic feeling. But between the 
evil spirits of Christian and of Shinto belief 
Aere is a vast difference. The evil Kami is 
only the ghost of a dead man, and is not be- 
lieved to be altogether evil, — since propitia- 
tion is possible. The conception of absolute, 
unmixed evil is not of the Far East. Abso- 
lute evil is certainly foreign to human nature, 
and therefore impossible in human ghosts. 
The evil Kami are not devils. They are 
simply ghosts, who influence the passions of 
men ; and only in this sense the deities of the 
passions. Now Shinto is of all religions the 
most natural, and therefore in certain respects 
the most rational. It does not consider the 
passions necessarily evil in themselves, but 
evil only according to cause, conditions, and 
degrees of their indulgence. Being ghosts, the 
gods are altogether human, — having the vari- 
ous good and bad qualities of men in varying 
proportions. The majority are good, and the 
sum of the influence of all is toward good 
rather than evil. To appreciate the rationality 
of this view requires a tolerably high opinion 


of mankind, — such an opinion as the condi- 
tions of the old society of Japan might have 
justified. No pessimist could profess pure 
Shintoism. The doctrine is optimistic ; and 
whoever has a generous faith in humanity 
will have no fault to find with the absence of 
the idea of implacable evil from its teaching. 

Now it is just in the recognition of the 
necessity for propitiating the evil ghosts that 
the ethically rational character of Shinto re- 
veals itself. Ancient experience and modern 
knowledge unite in warning us against the 
deadly error of trying to extirpate or to para- 
lyze certain tendencies in human nature, — 
tendencies which, if morbidly cultivated or 
freed from all restraint, lead to folly, to crime, 
and to countless social evils. The animal pas- 
sions, the ape-and-tiger impulses, antedate hu- 
man society, and are the accessories to nearly 
all crimes committed against it. But they 
cannot be killed ; and they cannot be safely 
starved. Any attempt to extirpate them would 
signify also an effort to destroy some of the 
very highest emotional faculties with which 
they remain inseparably blended. The primi- 
tive impulses cannot even be numbed save at 


Hbe ooBt of intellectaal and emotioiial powers 
whicli give to Inunan life all its beaaty and all 
its tenderness, bnt whicIi are, nevertheless, 
deeply rooted in the archaic soil of passion. 
The highest in ns had its beginnings in the 
lowest. Asceticism, by warring against the 
natural feelings, has created monsters. Theo- 
logical legislation, irrationally directed against 
human weaknesses, has only aggravated social 
disorders ; and laws against pleasure have only 
provoked debaucheries. The history of morals 
teaches very plainly indeed that our bad 
Kami require some propitiation. The passions 
still remain more powerful than the reason in 
man, because they are incomparably older, — 
because they were once all-essential to self- 
preservation, — because they made that primal 
stratum of consciousness out of which the 
nobler sentiments have slowly grown. Never 
can they be suffered to rule ; but woe to who« 
soever would deny their immemorial rights I 



Out of these primitiye, but — as may now 
be perceived — not irrational beliefs about 
the dead, there have been evolyedimoral senti- 
ments unknown to Western civilization. These 
are well worth considering, as they will prove 
in harmony with the most advanced conception 
of ethics, — and especially with that immense 
though yet indefinite expansion of the sense 
of duty which has followed upon the imder- 
standing of evolution. I do not know that we 
have any reason to congratulate ourselves upon 
the absence from our lives of the sentiments 
in question; — I am even inclined to think 
that we may yet find it morally necessary to 
cultivate sentiments of the same kind. One 
of the surprises of our future will certainly be 
a return to beliefs and ideas long ago aban- 
doned upon the mere assumption that they 
contained no truth, — belief still called barbar- 
ous, pagan, mediaeval, by those who condemn 
them out of traditional habit. Year after year 
the researches of science afford us new proof 
that the savage, the barbarian, the idolater, the 
monk, each and all have arrived, by different 


paths, as near to some one point of eternal 
truth as any thinker of the nineteenth century. 
We are now learning, also, that the theories 
of the astrologers and of the alchemists were 
but partially, not totally, wrong. We have 
reason even to suppose that no dream of the 
invisible world has ever been dreamed, — that 
no hypothesis of the unseen has ever been im- 
agined, — which future science will not prove 
to have contained some germ of reality. 

Foremost among the moral sentiments of 
Shinto is that of loving gratitude to the past, 
— a sentiment having no real correspondence 
in our own emotional life. We know our past 
better than the Japanese know theirs; — we 
have myriads of books recording or consider- 
ing its every incident and condition : but we 
cannot in any sense be said to love it or to 
feel grateful to it. Critical recognitions of its 
merits and of its defects ; — some rare enthu- 
siasms excited by its beauties ; many strong 
denunciations of its mistakes : these represent 
the sum of our thoughts and feelings about it. 
The attitude of our scholarship in reviewing it 
is necessarily cold ; that of our art, often more 


than generous ; that of our religion, condemna- 
tory for the most part. Whatever the point 
of view from which we study it, our attention 
is mainly directed to the work of the dead, — 
either the visible work that makes our hearts 
beat a little faster than usual while looking at 
it, or the results of their thoughts and deeds 
in relation to the society of their time. Of 
past humanity as imity, — of the millions long- 
buried as real kindred, — we either think not 
at all, or think only with the same sort of 
curiosity that we give to the subject of extinct 
races. We do indeed find interest in the 
record of some individual lives that have left 
large marks in history; — our emotions are 
stirred by the memories of great captains, 
statesmen, discoverers, reformers, — but only 
because the magnitude of that which they 
accomplished appeals to our own ambitions, 
desires, egotisms, and not at all to our altru- 
istic sentiments in ninety-nine caaes out of 
a hundred. The nameless dead to whom we 
owe most we do not trouble ourselves about, — 
we feel no gratitude, no love to them. We 
even find it difficult to persuade ourselves that 
the love of ancestors can possibly be a real. 


poweifnl, penetrating, lif e-monlding, religioiis 
emotion in any form of hnman society, — 
whicli it certainly is in Japan. The mere 
idea is utterly foreign to onr ways of think- 
ing, feeUng, acting. A partial reason for 
this, of course, is that we have no common 
faith in the existence of an active spiritnal 
relation between our ancestors and ourselves. 
If we happen to be irreligious, we do not 
believe in ghosts. If we are profoundly re- 
ligious, we think of the dead as removed from 
us by judgment, — as absolutely separated 
from us during the period of oar lives. It is 
true that among the peasantry of Boman 
Catholic coimtries there still exists a belief 
that the dead are permitted to return to earth 
once a year, — on the night of All Souls. But 
even according to this belief they are not con- 
sidered as related to the living by any stronger 
bond than memory ; and they are thought of, 

— as our collections of folk-lore bear witness, 

— rather with fear than love. 

In Japan the feeling toward the dead is 
utterly different. It is a feeling of grateful 
and reverential love. It is probably the most 
profound and powerful of the emotions of the 


race, — that which especially directs national 
life and shapes national character. Patriot^ 
ism belongs to it. Filial piety depends upon 
it. Family love is rooted in it. Loyalty is 
based upon it. The soldier who, to make a 
path for his comrades through the battle, de- 
liberately flings away his life with a shout of 
" Teihohu manzai / " — the son or daughter 
who unmurmuring sacrifices all the happiness 
of existence for the sake, perhaps, of an imde- 
serving or even cruel parent; the partisan 
who gives up friends, family, and fortune, 
rather than break the verbal promise made in 
other years to a now poverty-stricken master ; 
the wife who ceremoniously robes herself in 
white, utters a prayer, and thrusts a sword 
into her throat to atone for a wrong done to 
strangers by her husband, — all these obey 
the will and hear the approval of invisible 
witnesses. Even among the skeptical stu- 
dents of the new generation, this feeling 
survives many wrecks of faith, and the old 
sentiments are still uttered : " Never must we 
cause shame to our ancestors ; " ^' it is our 
duty to give honor to our ancestors." Dur- 
ing my former engagement as a teacher of 


English, it happened more than once that ig- 
norance of the real meaning behind such 
phrases prompted me to change them in writ- 
ten composition. I would suggest, for exam- 
ple, that the expression, '^to do honor to the 
memory of our ancestors," was more correct 
than the phrase given. I remember one day 
even attempting to explain why we ought not 
to speak of ancestors exactly as if they were 
living parents! Perhaps my pupils sus- 
pected me of trying to meddle with their 
beliefs ; for the Japanese never think of an 
ancestor as having become '' only a memory " : 
their dead are alive. 

Were there suddenly to arise within us the 
absolute certainty that our dead are still with 
us, — seeing every act, knowing our every 
thought, hearing each word we utter, able to 
feel sympathy with us or anger against us, 
able to help us and delighted to receive our 
help, able to love us and greatly needing our 
love, — it is quite certain that our conceptions 
of life and duty would be vastly changed. 
We should have to recognize our obligations 
to the past in a very solemn way. Now, with 


the man of the Far East, the constant pres- 
ence of the dead has been a matter of convic- 
tion for thousands of years: he speaks to 
them daily; he tries to ^ve them happiness; 
and, unless a professional criminal, he never 
quite forgets his duty towards them. No one, 
says Hirata, who constantly discharges that 
duty, will ever be disrespectful to the gods or 
to his living parents. '^ Such a man will also 
be loyal to his friends, and kind and gentle 
with his wife and children ; for the essence of 
this devotion is in truth filial piety." And 
it is in this sentiment that the secret of much 
strange feeling in Japanese character must be 
sought. Far more foreign to our world of 
sentiment than the splendid courage with 
which death is faced, or the equanimity with 
which the most trying sacrifices axe made, is 
the simple deepTotion of the boy who, in 
the presence of a Shinto shrine never seen 
before, suddenly feels the tears spring to his 
eyes. He is conscious in that moment of 
what we never emotionally recognize, — the 
prodigious debt of the present to the past, and 
the duty of love to the dead. 



If we think a little about our position as 
debtors, and our way of accepting that posi- 
tion, one striking difference between Western 
and Far-Eastern moral sentiment will beccHne 

There is nothing more awful than the mere 
fact of life as mystery when that fact first 
rushes fully into consciousness. Out of un- 
known darkness we rise a moment into sun- 
light, look about us, rejoice and suffer, pass 
on the vibration of our being to other beings, 
and fall back again into darkness. So a wave 
rises, catches the light, transmits its motion, 
and sinks back into sea. So a plant ascends 
from clay, unfolds its leaves to light and air, 
flowers, seeds, and becomes clay again. Only, 
the wave has no knowledge ; the plant has no 
perceptions. Each human life seems no more 
than a parabolic curve of motion out of earth 
and back to earth ; but in that brief interval 
of change it perceives the universe. The 
awfulness of the phenomenon is that nobody 
knows anything about it. No mortal can 


explain this most common, yet most incom- 
prehensible of all facts, — life in itself ; yet 
every mortal who can think has been obliged 
betimes to think about it in relation to self. 

I come out of mystery ; — I see the sky and 
the land, men and women and their works; 
and I know that I must return to mystery ; — 
and merely what this means not even the 
greatest of philosophers — not even Mr. Her- 
bert Spencer — can tell me. We are all of us 
riddles to ourselves and riddles to each other ; 
and space and motion and time are riddles ; 
and matter is a riddle. About the before and 
the after neither the newly-born nor the dead 
have any message for us. The child is dumb ; 
the skull only grins. Nature has no consola- 
tion for us. Out of her formlessness issue 
forms which return to formlessness, — that is 
all. The plant becomes clay; the clay be- 
comes a plant. When the plant turns to clay, 
what becomes of the vibration which was its 
life ? Does it go on existing viewlessly, like 
the forces that shape spectres of f rondage in 
the frost upon a window-pane ? 

Within the horizon-circle of the infinite 
enigma, countless lesser enigmas, old as the 


world, awaited the coming of man. CBdipns 
liad to face one Sphinx ; humanity, thousands 
of thousands, — all crouching among bones 
along the path of Time, and each with a 
deeper and a harder riddle. All the sphinxes 
have not been satisfied; myriads line the way 
of the future to devour lives yet unborn ; but 
millions have been answered. We are now 
able to exist without perpetual horror because 
of the relative knowledge that guides us, — 
the knowledge won out of the jaws of destruc- 

All our knowledge is bequeathed knowledge. 
The dead have left us record of all they were 
able to learn about themselves and the world, 

— about the laws of death and life, — about 
things to be acquired and things to be avoided, 

— about ways of making existence less painful 
than Nature willed it, — about right and wrong 
and sorrow and happiness, — about the error 
of selfishness, the wisdom of kindness, the 
obligation of sacrifice. They left us informa- 
tion of everything they could find out con- 
cerning climates and seasons and places, — 
the sun and moon and stars, — the motions 
and the composition of the universe. They 


bequeathed us also their delusions which long 
served the good purpose of saving us from 
falling into greater ones. They left us the 
story of their errors and efforts, their triumphs 
and failures, their pains and joys, their loves 
and hates, — for warning or example. They 
expected our sympathy, because they toiled 
with the kindest wishes and hopes for us, and 
because they made our world. They cleared 
the land ; they extirpated monsters ; they 
tamed and taught the animals most useful to 
us. " The mother of Kullervo awoke vMhin 
her tomh^ and from the deeps of the dust she 
cried to him^ — ' / have left thee the Dog^ tied 
to a tree^ that thou mxtyest go vnth him to 
the chased " ^ They domesticated likewise the 
useful trees and plants ; and they discovered 
the places and the powers of the metals. 
Later they created all that we call civilization, 
— trusting us to correct such mistakes as they 
could not help making. The sum of their 
toil is incalculable; and all that they have 
given us ought surely to be very sacred, very 
precious, if only by reason of the infinite pain 
and thought which it cost. Yet what Occi« 

^ Kaievala ; thirty-sixth Rune. 


fiental dreams of saying daily, like the ShintS 
believer: — "Ze forefathers of the genera- 
tionSj and of our families^ and of our kindred, 
— unto yoUf the founders of our homes^ we 
utter the gladness of our thanks " ? 

None. It is not only because we think the 
dead cannot hear, bat because we have not 
been trained for generations to exercise our 
powers of sympathetic mental representation 
except within a very narrow circle, — the fam- 
ily circle. The Occidental family circle is a 
very small affair indeed compared with the 
Oriental family circle. In this nineteenth 
century the Occidental family is almost disinte- 
grated ; — it practically means little more than 
husband, wife, and children well under age. 
The Oriental family means not only parents 
and their blood-kindred, but grandparents and 
their kindred, and great-grandparents, and all 
the dead behind them. This idea of the 
family cultivates sympathetic representation 
to such a degree that the range of the emotion 
belonging to such representation may extend, 
as in Japan, to many groups and sub-groups 
of living families, and even, in time of na- 
tional peril, to the whole nation as one great 


family : a f eeUng much deeper tliau what we 
call patriotism. As a religious emotion the 
feeling is infinitely extended to all the past ; 
the blended sense of love, of loyalty, and of 
gratitude is not less real, though necessarily 
more vague, than the feeling to living kin- 

In the West, after the destruction of an- 
tique society, no such feeling could remain. 
The beliefs that condemned the ancients to 
heU, and forbade the praise of their works, — 
the doctrine that trained us to return thanks 
for everything to the God of the Hebrews, 
— created habits of thought and habits of 
thoughtlessness, both inimical to every feeling 
of gratitude to the past. Then, with the de- 
cay of theology and the dawn of larger know- 
ledge, came the teaching that the dead had no 
choice in their work, — they had obeyed neces- 
sity, and we had only received from them of 
necessity the results of necessity. And to-day 
we still fail to recognize that the necessity 
itself ought to compel our sympathies with 
those who obeyed it, and that its bequeathed 
results are as pathetic as they are precious. 
Such thoughts rarely occur to us even in 


regard to the work of the living who serve ua 
We consider the cost of a thing purchased or 
obtained to ourselves ; — about its cost in effort 
to the producer we do not allow ourselves to 
think: indeed, we should be laughed at for 
any exhibition of conscience on the subject 
And our equal insensibility to the pathetic 
meaning of the work of the past, and to that 
of the work of the present, largely explains 
the wastefulness of our civilization, — the 
reckless consumption by luxury of the labor 
of years in the pleasure of an hour, — the in- 
humanity of the thousands of unthinking rich, 
each of whom dissipates yearly in the gratifi- 
cation of totally unnecessary wants the price 
of a hundred human lives. The cannibals of 
civilization are unconsciously more cruel than 
those of savagery, and require much more 
flesh. The deeper hmnanity, — the cosmic 
emotion of humanity, — is essentially the enemy 
of useless luxury, and essentially opposed to 
any form of society which places no restraints 
upon the gratifications of sense or the pleas- 
ures of egotism. 

In the Far East, on the other hand, the 
moral duty of simplicity of life has been 


taught from very ancient times, because an- 
cestor-worship had developed and cultivated 
this cosmic emotion of humanity which we 
lack, but which we shall certainly be obliged 
to acquire at a later day, simply to save our- 
selves from extermination. Two sayings of 
lyeyasu exemplify the Oriental sentiment. 
When virtually master of the empire, this 
greatest of Japanese soldiers and statesmen 
was seen one day cleaning and smoothing 
with his own hands an old dnsfrjr pair of silk 
hakama or trousers. " What you see me do," 
he said to a retainer, ^'I am not doing be- 
cause I think of the worth of the garment in 
itself, but because I think of what it needed 
to produce it. It is the result of the toil of a 
poor woman ; and that is why I value it. If 
we do not thinks while using things^ of the 
time and effort required to make them^ — then 
our want of consideration puts us on a level 
with the beasts^ Again, in the days of his 
greatest wealth, we hear of him rebuking his 
wife for wishing to furnish him too often 
with new clothing. "When I think," he 
protested, " of the multitudes around me, and 
of the generations to come after me, I feel it 


my duty to be very sparing, for their sake, of 
the goods in my possession." Nor has this 
spirit of simplicity yet departed from Japan. 
Even the Emperor and Empress, in the pri- 
vacy of their own apartments, continue to live 
as simply as their subjects, and devote most 
of their revenue to the alleviation of public 

It is through the teachings of evolution that 
there will ultimately be developed in the West 
a moral recognition of duty to the past like 
that which ancestor-worship created in the Far 
East. For even to-day whoever has mastered 
the first principles of the new philosophy can- 
not look at the commonest product of man's 
handiwork without perceiving something of 
its evolutional history. The most ordinary 
utensil will appear to him, not the mere pro- 
duct of individual capacity on the paai: of 
carpenter or potter, smith or cutler, but the 
product of experiment continued through 
thousands of years with methods, with mate- 
rials, and with forms. Nor will it be possible 
for him to consider the vast time and toil 


necessitated in the evolation of any meclian« 
ical appliance, and yet experience no generoos 
sentiment. Coming generations must think 
of the material bequests of the past in relation 
to dead humanity. 

But in the development of this ^^ cosmic 
emotion " of humanity, a much more powerful 
factor than recognition of our material indebt- 
edness to the past will be the recognition of 
our psychical indebtedness. For we owe to 
the dead our immaterial world also, — the 
world that lives within us, — the world of all 
that is lovable in impulse, emotion, thought. 
Whosoever understands scientifically what hu- 
man goodness is, and the terrible cost of mak- 
ing it, can find in the commonest phases of the 
humblest lives that beauty which is divine, 
and can feel that in one sense our dead are 
truly gods. 

So long as we supposed the woman soul one 
in itself, — a something specially created to 
fit one particular physical being, — the beauty 
and the wonder of mother-love could never be 
fully revealed to us. But with deeper know- 
ledge we must perceive that the inherited love 


of myriads of millions of dead mothers has 
been treasured up in one life ; — that only thus 
can be interpreted the infinite sweetness of the 
speech which the infant hears, — the infinite 
tenderness of the look of caress which meets 
its gaze. Unhappy the mortal who has not 
known these ; yet what mortal can adequately 
speak of them! Truly is mother-love divine ; 
for everything by human recognition caUed 
divine is summed up in that love ; and every 
woman uttering and transmitting its highest 
expression is more than the mother of man: 
she is the Mater Dei. 

Needless to speak here about the ghostliness 
of first love, sexual love, which is illusion, — 
because the passion and the beauty of the dead 
revive in it, to dazzle, to delude, and to be- 
witch. It is very, very wonderful ; but it is 
not all good, because it is not all true. The 
real charm of woman in herself is that which 
comes later, — when all the illusions fade away 
to reveal a reality, lovelier than any illusion, 
which has been evolving behind the phantona- 
curtain of them. What is the divine magic of 
the woman thus perceived ? Only the afiEec- 
tion, the sweetness, the faith, the unselfishness. 


the intuitions of millions of buried hearts. All 
live again ; — all thrOb anew, in every fresh 
warm beat of her own. 

Certain amazing faculties exhibited in the 
highest social life tell in another way the 
story of soul structure built up by dead lives. 
Wonderful is the man who can really ^^ be all 
things to all men," or the woman who can 
make herself twenty, fifty, a hundred different 
women, — comprehendmg all, penetrating all, 
unerring to estimate all others ; — seeming to 
have no individual self, but only selves in- 
numerable ; — able to meet each varying per- 
sonality with a soul exactly toned to the tone 
of that to be encountered. Bare these charac- 
ters are, but not so rare that the traveler is 
unlikely to meet one or two of them in any 
cultivated society which he has a chance of 
studying. They are essentially multiple be- 
ings,— so visibly multiple that even those who 
think of the Ego as single have to describe 
them as " highly complex." Nevertheless this 
manifestation of forty or fifty different char- 
acters in the same person is a phenomenon so 
remarkable (especially remarkable because it 
is commonly manifested in youth long before 


relative experience could possibly acconnt 
for it) that I cannot but wonder how few 
persons frankly realize its signification. 

So likewise with what have been termed the 
*^ intuitions " of some forms of genius, — paiv 
ticularly those which relate to the representa- 
tion of the emotions. A Shakespeare would 
always remain incomprehensible on the ancient 
soul-theory. Taine attempted to explain him 
by the phrase, " a perfect imagination ; " — and 
the phrase reaches far into the truth. But 
what is the meaning of a perfect imagination ? 
Enormous multiplicity of soul-life, — countless 
past existences revived in one. Nothing else 
can explain it. . . . It is not, however, in the 
world of pure intellect that the story of psy- 
chical complexity is most admirable : it is in 
the world which speaks to our simplest emo- 
tions of love, honor, sympathy, heroism. 

" But by such a theory," some critic may 
observe, ^^ the source of impulses to heroism 
is also the source of the impulses that people 
jails. Both are of the dead." This is true. 
We inherited evil as well as good. Being 
composites only, — still evolving, still becom* 


ing, — we inherit imperfections. But the sur- 
yival of the fittest in impulses is certainly 
proven by the average moral condition of hu- 
manity, — using the word " fittest " in its ethi- 
cal sense. In spite of all the misery and vice 
»d c™^ noJh.™ » .,™% Jel.p«. » 
under our own so-called Christian civilization, 
the fact must be patent to any one who has 
lived much, traveled much, and thought much, 
that the mass of humanity is good, and there- 

queathed us by past humanity is good. Also 
it is certain that the more normal a social con- 
dition, the better its humanity. Through all 
the past the good Kami have always managed 
to keep the bad Kami from controlling the 
world. And with the acceptation of this 
truth, our future ideas of wrong and of right 
must take immense expansion. Just as a 
heroism, or any act of pure goodness for a 
noble end^ must assume a preciousness hereto- 
fore unsuspected, — so a real crime must come 
to be regarded as a crime less against the ex- 
isting individual or society, than against the 
sum of human experience, and the whole past 
struggle of ethical aspiration. Seal goodness 


will, therefore, be more prized, and real crime 
less leniently judged. And the early Shinto 
teaching, that no code of ethics is necessary, 
— that the right rule of human conduct can 
always be known by consulting the heart, — 
is a teaching which will doubtless be accepted 
by a more perfect humanity than that of the 

^^ Evolution," the reader may say, ** does in- 
deed show through its doctrine of heredity 
that the living are in one sense really con- 
trolled by the dead. But it also shows that, 
the dead are within us, not without us. They 
are part of us ; — there is no proof that they 
have any existence which is not our own. 
Gratitude to the past would, therefore, be 
gratitude to ourselves ; love of the dead would 
be self-love. So that your attempt at analogy 
ends in the absurd." 

No. Ancestor-worship in its primitive form 
may be a symbol only of truth. It may be an 
index or foreshadowing only of the new moral 
duty which larger knowledge must force upon 
%s : the duty of reverence and obedience to the 


sacrificial past of human ethical experience. 
But it may also be much more. The facts of 
heredity can never afford but half an explana- 
tion of the facts of psychology. A plant pro- 
duces ten, twenty, a hundred plants witiiout 
yielding up its own life in the process. An 
Lmal givL birth to many young yet Uves on 
with all its physical capacities and its small 
.powers of Lught un^minished. Children 
are bom ; and the parents survive them. In- 
herited the mental life certainly is, not less 
than the physical ; yet the reproductive cells, 
the least specialized of all cells, whether in 
plant or in animal, never take away, but only 
repeat the parental being. Continually mul- 
tiplying, each conveys aiid transmits Ae whole 
experience of a race; yet leaves the whole 
experience of the race behind it. Here is the 
marvel inexplicable : the self -multiplication of 
physical and psychical being, — life after life 
thrown off from the parent life, each to be- 
come complete and reproductive. Were all 
the parental life given to the offspring, he- 
redity might be said to favor the doctrine of 
materialism. But like the deities of Hindoo 
legend, the Self multiplies and still remains 


the same, with fall capacities for continued 
multiplication. Shinto has its doctrine of 
souls multiplying by fission ; but the facts of 
psychological emanation are infinitely more 
wonderful than any theory. 

The great reUgions have recognized that 
heredity could not explain the whole question 
of self, — could not account for the fate of the 
original residual self. So they have generally 
united in holding tiie inner independent of tiie 
outer being. Science can no more fully de- 
cide the issues they have raised than it can 
decide the nature of Reality-in-itself . Again 
we may vainly ask, What becomes of the 
forces which constituted the vitality of a dead 
plant? Much more difficult the question. 
What becomes of the sensations which formed 
the psychical life of a dead man ? — since no- 
body can explain the simplest sensation. We 
know only that during life certain active 
forces within the body of the plaut or the body 
of the man adjusted themselves continually to 
outer forces ; and that after the interior forces 
could no longer respond to the pressure of 
the exterior forces, — then the body in which 
the former were stored was dissolved into the 


elements out of which it had been built up. 
We know nothing more of the ultimate nature 
of those elements than we know of the ulti- 
mate nature of the tendencies which united 
them. But we have more right to believe the 
ultimates of life persist after the dissolution 
of the forms they created, than to believe they 
cease. The theory of spontaneous generation 
(misnamed, for only in a qualified sense can 
the term ^^ spontaneous " be applied to the 
tiieory of the beginnings of mundane life) is 
a theory which the evolutionist must accept, 
and which can frighten none aware of the evi- 
dence of chemistry that matter itself is in 
evolution. The real theory (not the theory of 
organized life beginning in bottled infusions, 
but of the life primordial arising upon a plane- 
tary surface) has enormous — nay, infinite — 
spiritual significance. It requires the belief 
that all potentialities of life and thought and 
emotion pass from nebula to universe, from 
system to system, from star to planet or moon, 
and again back to cyclonic storms of atomicity ; 
it means that tendencies survive sunbumings, 
— survive all cosmic evolutions and disin- 
tegrations. The elements are evolutionary 


products only ; and the diffeienoe of univene 
from universe must be the creation of tenden- 
cies, — of a form of heredity too vast and 
complex for imagination. There is no ohanoe. 
There is only law. Each fresh evolution must 
be influenced by previous evolutions, — just 
as each individual human life is influenced 
by the experience of all the lives in its ancea- 
tnd chain. Must not the tendencies even of 
the ancestral forms of matter be inherited bj 
the forms of matter to come ; and may not the 
acts and thoughts of men even now be helping 
to shape the character of future worlds ? No 
longer is it possible to say that the dreams 
of the Alchemists were absurdities. And no 
longer can we even assert that all material 
phenomena are not determined, as in the 
thought of the ancient East, by soyl-polarities. 
Whether our dead do or do not continue 
to dwell without us as well as within us, — a 
question not to be decided in our present un- 
developed state of comparative blindness, — 
certain it is that the testimony of cosmic facts 
accords with one weird belief of Shinto : the 
belief that all things are determined by the 
dead, — whether by ghosts of men or ghosts 


of worlds. Even as our personal lives are 
ruled by the now viewless lives of the past, so 
doubtless the life of our Earth, and of the sys- 
tem to which it belongs, is ruled by ghosts of 
spheres innumerable: dead universes, — dead 
suns and planets and moons, — as forms long 
since dissolved into the night, but as forces 
immortal and etemaUy working. 

Back to the Sun, indeed, like the Shintoist, 
we can trace our descent ; yet we know that 
even there the beginning of us wa« not. In- 
finitely more remote in time than a million 
sun-Uves was that beginning, — if it can truly 

The teaching of Evolution is that we are 
one with that unknown Ultimate, of which 
matter and human mind are but ever-changing 
manifestations. The teaching of Evolution is 
also that each of us is many, yet that all of 
us are still one with each other and with the 
cosmos ; — that we must know all past hu- 
manity not only in ourselves, but likewise in 
the preciousness and beauty of every fellow- 
life ; — that we can best love ourselves in 
others ; — that we shall best serve ourselves in 


others ; — that forms are but veils and phan- 
toms ; — and that to the formless Infinite alone 
really belong all human emotions, whether of 
the living or the dead. 



Mi naran to omo 

Kokoro ho80 
Wasuri nu yon mo 
Omoi nari-keri?- 

The name is on a paper-lantern at the 
entrance of a house in the Street of the 

Seen at night the street is one of the queer- 
est in the world. 'It is narrow as a gangway ; 
and the dark shining woodwork of the house- 
fronts, all tightly closed, — each having a tiny 
sliding door with paper-panes that look just 
like frosted glass, — makes you think of first- 
ekss passenger-cabins. Really the buildings 
are several stories high ; but you do not ob- 
serve this at once, — especially if there be no * 

^ '* To wish to be forgotten by the beloved is a sonl-task 
harder far than trying not to forget.*' — Foem by Kimiko. 


moon, — becaiue only the lower stories are 
illuminated up to their awnings, above which 
all is darkness. The illumination is made by 
lamps behind the narrow paper-paned doors, 
and by the paper-lanterns hanging outside, — 
one at every door. You look down the street 
between two lines of these lanterns, — lines 
converging far^ff into one motionless bar of 
yellow light. Some of the lanterns are ^g- 
shaped, some cylindrical ; others four-sided or 
six-sided ; and Japanese characters are beauti- 
fully written upon them. The street is very 
quiet, — silent as a display of cabinet-work in 
some great exhibition after closing-time. This 
is because the inmates are mostly away, — at- 
tending banquets and other festiities. Their 
life is of the night. 

The legend upon the first lantern to the left 
as you go south is " JKinoya : uchi O-Kata ; ** 
and that means The House of Gold wherein 
O-Kata dwells. The lantern to the right tells 
of the House of Nishimura, and of a girl 
Miyotsuru, — which name signifies The' Stork 
Magnificently Existing. Next upon the left 
comes the House of Kajita ; — and in that 
house are Kohana, the Flower-Bud, and 


Hinako, whose face is pretty as the face of a 
doll. Opposite is the House Nagaye, wherein 
live Kimika and Kimiko. . . . And this lu- 
minous double litany of names is half-a-mile 

The inscription on the lantern of the last- 
named house reveals the relationship between 
Kimika and Kimiko, - and yet something 
more ; for Kimiko is styled Ni-dai-me^ an 
honorary untranslatable title which signifies 
that she is only Kimiko No. 2. Kimika is the 
teacher and mistress : she has educated two 
geisha, both named, or rather renamed by her, 
Kimiko ; and this use of the same name twice 
is proof positive that the first Kimiko — Ichi- 
dairTne — must have been celebrated. The 
professional appellation borne by an unlucky 
or unsuccessful geisha is never given to her 

If you should ever have good and sufficient 
reason to enter the house, — pushing open that 
lantern-slide of a door which sets a gong-bell 
ringing to announce visits, — you might be 
able to see Kimika, provided her little troupe 
be not engaged for the evening. You would 
find her a very inteUigent person, and weU 


worth talking to. She can tell, when she 
pleases, the most remarkable stories, — real 
flesh-and-blood stories, — true stories of hn^ 
man nature. For the Street of the Geisha is 
full of traditions, — tragic, comic, melo- 
dramatic ; — every house has its memories : 
— and Kimika knows them all. Some are 
very, very terrible ; and some would make 
you laugh ; and some would make you think. 
The story of the first Kimiko belongs to the 
last class. It is not one of the most extraor- 
dinary ; but it is one of the least difficult for 
Western people to understand. 


There is no more Ichi-dai-me Kimiko: she 
is only a remembrance. Kimika was quite 
young when she called that Kimiko her pro- 
fessional sister. 

" An exceedingly wonderful girl," is what 
Kimika says of Kimiko. To win any renown 
in her profession, a geisha must be pretty or 
very clever ; and the famous ones are usually 
both, — having been selected at a very early 
Ag® ^7 their trainers according to the promise 
of such qualities. Even the commoner class 


of singing-girls must have some charm in their 
best years, — if only that beaute du diahle 
which inspired the Japanese proverb that even 
a devil is pretty at eighteen.^ But Kimiko 
was much more than pretty. She was accord- 
ing to the Japanese ideal of beauty ; and that 
standard is not reached by one woman in a 
hundred thousand. Also she was more than 
clever : she was accomplished. She composed 
very dainty poems, — could arrange flowers 
exquisitely, perform tearceremonies faultlessly, 
emLider, Take silk mosaic : in short, s^^ 
was genteel. And her first public appearance 
made a flutter in the fast world of Ky5to. 
It was evident that she could make almost 
any conquest she pleased, and that fortune 
was before her. 

But it soon became evident, also, that she 
had been perfectly trained for her profession. 
She had been taught how to conduct herself 
under almost any possible circumstances ; for 
what she could not have known Kimika knew 
everything about : the power of beauty, and 

^ Oni mojiuhachif azami no hana. There is a similar say- 
ing of a dragon: ja mo hcttachi (*' even a dragon at 
twenty "). 


the weakness of passion ; the craft of promises 
and the worth of indifference ; and all the folly 
and evil in the hearts of men. So Kimiko 
made few mistakes and shed few tears. 
By and by she proved to be, as Kimika wished, 
— slightly dangerous. So a lamp is to night- 
fliers: otherwise some of them would put it 
out. The duty of the lamp is to make pleas- 
ant things visible : it has no malice. Kimiko 
had no malice, and was not too dangerous. 
Anxious parents discovered that she did not 
want to enter into respectable families, nor 
even to lend herself to any serious romances. 
But she was not particularly merciful to that 
class of youths who sign documents with their 
own blood, and ask a dancing-girl to cut off 
the extreme end of the little finger of her left 
hand as a pledge of eternal affection. She 
was mischievous enough with them to cure 
them of their folly. Some rich folks who of- 
fered her lands and houses on condition of 
owning her, body and soul, found her less 
merciful. One proved generous enough to 
purchase her freedom unconditionally, at a 
price which made Kimika a rich woman ; and 
Kimiko was grateful, — but she remained a 


geisha. She managed her rebuffs with too 
much tact to excite hate, and knew how to 
heal despairs in most cases. There were ex- 
ceptions, of course. One old man, who thought 
life not worth living unless he could get Ki- 
miko all to himself, invited her to a banquet 
one evening, and asked her to drink wine with 
him. But Kimika, accustomed to read faces, 
deftly substituted tea (which has precisely the 
same color) for Kimiko's wine, and so instinc- 
tively saved the girl's precious life, — for only 
ten minutes later the soul of the silly host was 
on its way to the Meido alone, and doubtless 
greatly disappointed. . . . After that night 
Kimika watched over Kimiko as a wild cat 
guards her kitten. 

The kitten became a fashionable mania, a 
craze, — a delirium, — one of the great sights 
and sensations of the period. There is a for- 
eign prince who remembers her name : he 
sent her a gift of diamonds which she never 
wore. Other presents in multitude she re- 
ceired fiom all who could afford the luxury 
of pleasing her ; and to be in her good graces, 
even for a day, was the ambition of the 
" gilded youth." Nevertheless she allowed no 


one to imagine himself a special favorite, and 
refused to make any contracts for perpetual 
affection. To any protests on the subject she 
answered that she knew her place. Even re- 
spectable women spoke not unkindly of her, 

of family unhappiness. She really kept her 
place. Time seemed to make her more charm- 
ing. Other geisha grew into fame, but no one 
was even classed with her. Some manufac- 
turers secured the sole right to use her pho- 
tograph for a label; and that label made a 
fortune for the firm. 

But one day the startling news was abroad 
that Kimiko had at last shown a very soft 
heart. She had actually said good-by to 
Kimika, and had gone away with somebody 
able to give her all the pretty dresses she 
could wish for, — somebody eager to give her 
social position also, and to silence gossip about 
her naughty past,— somebody willing to die 
for her ten times over, and already half -dead 
for love of her. Kimika said that a fool had 
tried to kill himself because of Kimiko, and 
that Kimiko had taken pity on him, and 


nursed him back to foolishness. Taiko Hide- 
yoshi had said that there were only two things 
in this world which he feared, — a fool and a 
dark night. Kimika had always been afraid 
of a fool ; and a fool had taken Kimiko away. 
And she added, with not unselfish tears, that 
Kimiko would never come back to her : it was 
a case of love on both sides for the time of 
several existences. 

Nevertheless, Kimika was only half right. 
She was very shrewd indeed; but she had 
never been able to see into certain private 
chambers in the soul of Kimiko. If she 
could have seen, she would have screamed for 


Between Kimiko and other geisha there was 
a difference of gentle blood. Before she took 
a professional name, her name was Ai, which, 
written with the proper character, means love. 
Written with another character the same 
word-sound signifies grief. The story of Ai 
was a story of both grief and love. 

She had been nicely brought up. As a 
child she had been sent to a private school 


kept by an old samurai, — where the little 
girls squatted on cushions before little writing- 
tables twelve inches high, and where the 
teachers taught without salary. In these days 
when teachers get better salaries than civil- 
service officials, the teaching is not nearly so 
honest or so pleasant as it used to be. A 
servant always accompanied the child to and 
from the school-house, carrying her books, her 
writing -box, her kneeling cushion, and her 
little table. 

Afterwards she attended an elementary 
public school. The first " modern " text-books 
had just been issued, — containing Japanese 
translations of English, German, and French 
stories about honor and duty and heroism, ex- 
cellently chosen, and illustrated with tiny in- 
nocent pictures of Western people in costumes 
never of this world. Those dear pathetic lit- 
tle text-books are now curiosities : they have 
long been superseded by pretentious compila- 
tions much less lovingly and sensibly edited. 
Ai learned well. Once a year, at examination 
time, a great official would visit the school, 
and talk to the children as if they were all his 
own, and stroke each silky head as he dis« 


tributed the prizes. He is now a retired 
statesman, and has doubtless forgotten Ai ; — * 
and in the schools of to-day nobody caresses 
little girls, or gives them prizes. 

Then came those reconstructive changes by 
which families of rank were reduced to ob- 
scurity and poverty; and Ai had to leave 
school. Many great sorrows followed, till 
there remained to her only her mother and an 
infant sister. The mother and Ai could do 
little but weave ; and by weaving alone they 
could not earn enough to live. House and 
lands first, — then, article by article, all things 
not necessary to existence — heirlooms, trin- 
kets, costly robes, crested lacquer-ware — 
passed cheaply to those whom misery makes 
rich, and whose wealth is called by the people 
Namida no kane^ — "the Money of Tears." 
Help from the Uving wa^ scanty, — for most 
of the samurai -families of kin were in like 
distress. But when there was nothing left to 
sell, — not even Ai's little school-books, — 
help was sought from the dead. 

For it was remembered that the father of 
Ai's father had been buried with his sword, 
the gift of a daimyo ; and that the moimtings 


ci the weapon were of gold. So the grave 
was opened, and the grand hilt of curious 
workmanship exchanged for a common one, 
and the ornaments of the lacquered sheath re- 
moved. But the good blade was not taken, 
because the warrior might need it. Ai saw 
2iis face as he sat erect in the great red-clay 
am which served in lieu of cofiBn to the 
samurai of high rank when buried by the 
ancient rite. His features were still recog- 
nizable after all those years of sepulture ; and 
he seemed to nod a grim assent to what had 
been done as his sword was given back to 

At last the mother of Ai became too weak 
aad ill to work at the loom ; and the gold of 
the dead had been spent. Ai said : — ^^ Mo- 
ther, I know there is but one thing now to do. 
Let me be sold to the dancing -girls." The 
mother wept, and made no reply. Ai did 
not weep, but went out alone. 

She remembered that in other days, when 
banquets were given in her father's house, and 
dancers served the wine, a free geisha named 
Kimika had often caressed her. She went 
stiaight to the house of Kimika. ^^ I want 


you to buy me," said Ai ; — " and I want a 
great deal of money." Kimika laughed, and 
petted her, and made her eat, and heard her 
story, — which was bravely told, without one 
tear. ^' My child," said Kimika, '' I cannot 
give you a great deal of money ; for I have 
very little. But this I can do : — I can prom- 
ise to support your mother. That will be bet- 
ter than to give her much money for you, — 
because your mother, my child, has been a 
great lady, and therefore cannot know how 
to use money cunningly. Ask your honored 
mother to sign the bond, — promising that 
you will stay with me till you are twenty-four 
years old, or until such time as you can pay 
me back. And what money I can now spare, 
take home with you as a free gift." 

Thus Ai became a geisha ; and Kimika re- 
named her Kimiko, and kept the pledge to 
maintain the mother and the child-sister. The 
mother died before Kimiko became famous ; 
the little sister was put to school. Afterwards 
those things already told came to pass. 

The young man who had wanted to die for 
love of a dancing-girl was worthy of better 


things. He was an only son ; and his parents, 
wealthy and titled people, were willing to 
Aiake any sacrifice for him, — even that of ac- 
cepting a geisha for daughter-in-law. More- 
over they were not altogether displeased with 
Kimiko, because of her sympathy for their 

Before going away, Kimiko attended the 
wedding of her young sister, Um^, who had 
just finished school. She was good and pretty. 
Kimiko had made the match, and used her 
wicked knowledge of 4nen in making it. She 
chose a very plain, honest, old-fashioned mer- 
chant, — a man who could not have been bad» 
even if he tried. Um^ did not question the 
wisdom of her sister's choice, which time 
proved fortunate. 


It was in the period of the fourth moon that 
Kimiko was carried away to the home pre- 
pared for her, — a place in which to forget 
all the unpleasant realities of life, — a sort 
of fairy-palace lost in the charmed repose 
of great shadowy silent high-walled gardens. 
Therein she might have felt as one reborn, by 


reason of good deeds, into the realm of Horal 
But the spring passed, and the summer came^ 

— and Kimiko remained simply Kimiko. 
Three times she had contrived, for reasons 
imspoken, to put off the wedding-day. 

In the period of the eighth moon, Kimiko 
ceased to be playful, and told her reasons 
very gently but very firmly : — "It is time 
that I should say what I have long delayed 
saying. For the sake of the mother who gave 
me life, and for the sake of my little sister, I 
have lived in hell. All that is past ; but the 
scorch of the fire is upon me, and there is no 
power that can take it away. It is not for 
such as I to enter into an honored family, — 
nor to bear you a son, — nor to build up your 
house. . . . Suffer me to speak; for in the 
knowing of wrong I am very, very much wiser 
than you. . . . Never shall I be your wife to 
become your shame. I am your companion 
only, your play-fellow, your guest of an hour, 

— and this not for any gifts. When I shall 
be no longer with you — nay ! certainly that 
day must come I — you will have clearer sight. 
I shall still be dear to you, but not in the 


same way as now — which is foolishness. Yoa 
will remember these words out of my heart. 
Some true sweet lady will be chosen for you, 
to become the mother of your children. I 
shall see them ; but the place of a wife I shall 
never take, and the joy of a mother I must 
never know. I am only your folly, my be- 
loved, — an illusion, a dream, a shadow flitting 
across your life. Somewhat more in later 
time I may become, but a wife to you never, 
— neither in this existence nor in the next. 
Ask me again — and I go." 

In the period of the tenth moon, and with- 
out any reason imaginable, Kimiko disap- 
peared, — vanished, — utterly ceased to exist. 

Nobody knew when or how or whither she 
had gone. Even in the neighborhood of the 
home she had left, none had seen her pass. 
At first it seemed that she must soon return. 
Of all her beautiful and precious things — her 
robes, her ornaments, her presents : a fortune 
in themselves — she had taken nothing. But 


weeks passed without word or sign ; and it was 
feared that something terrible had befallen 
her. Rivers were dragged, and wells were 
searched. Inquiries were made by telegraph 
dnd by letter. Trusted servants were sent to 
iook for her. Rewards were offered for any 
news — especially a reward to Eamika, who 
was really attached to the girl, and would have 
been only too happy to find her without any 
reward at all. But the mystery remained a 
mystery. Application to the authorities would 
have been useless : the fugitive had done no 
wrong, broken no law ; and the vast machinery 
of the imperial police-system was not to be set 
in motion by the passionate whim of a boy. 
Months grew into years ; but neither Kimika, 
nor the little sister in Ky5to, nor any one of 
the thousands who had known and admired 
the beautiful dancer, ever saw Kimiko again. 
But what she had foretold came true; — 
for time dries all tears and quiets all longing ; 
and even in Japan one does not really try to 
die twice for the same despair. The lover of 
Kimiko became wiser; and there was found 
for him a very sweet person for wife, who 
gave him a son. And other years passed; 


and there was happiness in the fairy -home 
where Kimiko had once been. 

There came to that home one morning, 
as if seeking akns, a traveling nun ; and the 
child, hearing her Buddhist cry of " Ha — X / 
ha — 5/" ran to the gate. And presently a 
house-servant, bringing out the customary gift 
of rice, wondered to see the nun caressing the 
child, and whispering to him. Then the little 
one cried to the servant, " Let me give ! " — 
and the nun pleaded from under the veiling 
shadow of her great straw hat : " Honorably 
allow the child to give me." So the boy put 
the rice into the mendicant's bowl. Then she 
thanked him, and asked : — " Now will you 
say again for me the little word which I prayed 
you to tell your honored father ? " And the 
child lisped : — " Father^ one whom you toill 
never see again in this worlds says that her 
heart is glad because she has seen your son.^^ 

The nun laughed softly, and caressed him 
again, and passed away swiftly ; and t\e ser- 
vant wondered more than ever, while the child 
ran to tell his father the words of the mendi- 

But the father's eyes dimmed as he heard 


the words, and he wept over his boy. For he, 
and only he, knew who had been at the gate, 
— and the sacrificial meaning of all that had 
been hidden. 

Now he thinks much, but tells his thought 
to no one. 

He knows that the space between sun and 
sun is less than the space between himself and 
the woman who loved him. 

He knows it were vain to ask in what re<- 
mote city, in what fantastic riddle of narrow 
nameless streets, in what obscure little temple 
known only to the poorest poor, she waits for 
the darkness before the Dawn of the Immeas- 
urable Light, — when the Face of the Teacher 
will smile upon her, — when the Voice of the 
Teacher will say to her, in tones of sweetness 
deeper than ever came from human lover's 
lips : — " O my daughter in the Law^ thou 
hast practiced the perfect way ; thou hast fte- 
lieved and understood the highest truth ; — 
therefore come I now to meet and to welcome 





DmtiNa the spring of 1891, I visited the set- 
tlement in Matsu^, Izomo, of an outcast people 
known as the yarrui-nO'rruynx), Some results of 
the visit were subsequently communicated to the 
''Japan Mail," in a letter published June 13, 
1891, and some extracts from that letter I think 
it may be worth while to cite here, by way of in- 
troduction to the subject of the present paper. 

''The settlement is at the southern end of Ma- 
tsu^, in a tiny valley, or rather hollow among the 
hills which form a half-circle behind the city. 
Few Japanese of the better classes have ever vis- 
ited such a village; and even the poorest of the 
common people shun the place as they would shun 
a centre of contagion; for the idea of defile- 
ment, both moral and physical, is still attached 
to the very name of its inhabitants. Thus, al- 
though the settlement is within half an hour's 
walk from the heart of the city, probably not 
half a dozen of the thirty-six thousand residents 
of Matsu^ have visited it. 

^ Read before the Asiatie Society of Japan, October 17, 


^ There are four distinct outcast classes in 
Matsn^ and its environs : the hachiyn, the kot/a-no- 
mono, the yama-no-monoy and the eta of Soguta. 

''There are two settlements of luichiya. 
These were formerly the puhlic executioners, and 
served under the police in various capacities. 
Although hj ancient law the lowest class of pa- 
riahs, their intelligence was sufficiently cultivated 
by police service and by contact with superiors 
to elevate them in popular opinion above the other 
outcasts. They are now manufacturers of bamboo 
cages and baskets. They are said to be descend- 
ants of the family and retainers of Taira-no-Ma- 
sakado-Heishino, the only man in Japan who ever 
seriously conspired to seize the imperial throne 
by armed force, and who was killed by the famous 
general Taira-no-Sadamori. 

''The koya-no-rrumo are slaughterers and deal- 
ers in hides. They are never allowed to enter 
any house in Matsu^ except the shop of a dealer 
in geta and other foot-gear. Originally vagrants, 
they were permanently settled in Matsu^ by some 
famous daimyo, who built for them small houses 
— koya — on the bank of the canal. Hence their 
name. As for the eta proper, their condition 
and calling are too familiar to need comment in 
this connection. 

"The yama-no-rrwno are so called because they 
live among the hills {yama) at the southern end 
of Matsu^. They have a monopoly of the rag- 
and-waste-paper business, and are buyers of all 
sorts of refuse, from old bottles to broken-down 
machinery. Some of them are rich. Indeed, 
the whole class is, compared with other outcast 


classes, prosperous. Nevertheless, public preju- 
dice against them is still almost as strong as in 
the years previous to the abrogation of the spe- 
cial laws concerning them. Under no conceivable 
circumstances could any of them obtain employ- 
ment as servants. Their prettiest girls in old 
times often became joro ; but at no time could 
they enter a joroya in any neighboring city, much 
less in their own, so they were sold to establish- 
ments in remote places. A yanrui'nO'rnxmo to- 
day could not even become a kwrumaya. He 
could not obtain employment as a common laborer 
in any capacity, except by going to some distant 
city where he could hope to conceal his origin. 
But if detected under such conditions he would 
run serious risk of being killed by his fellow- 
laborers. Under any circumstance it would be 
difficult for a yama-no-rrumo to pass himself off 
for a heimin. Centuries of isolation and preju- 
dice have fixed and moulded the manners of the 
class in recognizable. ways; and even its language 
has become a special and curious dialect. 

'^I was anxious to see something of a class so 
singularly situated and specialized ; and I had the 
good fortune to meet a Japanese gentleman who, 
although belonging to the highest class of Matsu^, 
was kind enough to agree to accompany me to 
their village, where he had never been himself. 
On the way thither he told me many curious 
things about the yarnxi-no-mxmo. In feudal times 
these people had been kindly treated by the sa- 
murai ; and they were often allowed or invited to 
enter the courts of samurai dwellings to sing and 
dance, for which performances they were paid. 


The songs and the dances with which they were 
able to entertaiii even those aristocratic families 
were known to no other people, and were called 
Daikohi-mai, Singing the DaUcoku-mai was, 
in fact, the special hereditary art of the yamor-no^ 
mono^ and represented their highest comprehen- 
sion of aesthetic and emotional matters. In for- 
mer times they could not obtain admittance to a 
respectable theatre; and, like the hachiyay had 
theatres of their own. It would be interesting, 
my friend added, to learn the origin of their 
songs and their dances; for their songs are not 
in their own special dialect, but in pure Japanese. 
And that they should have been able to preserve 
this oral literature without deterioration is espe- 
cially remarkable from the fact that the yarrui' 
no-rruym were never taught to read or write* 
They could not even avail themselves of those 
new educational opportunities which the era of 
Meiji has given to the masses; prejudice is still 
far too strong to allow of their children being 
happy in a public school. A small special school 
might be possible, though there would perhaps be 
no small difficulty in obtaining willing teachers.^ 

"The hollow in which the village stands is 
immediately behind the Buddhist cemetery of 
Tokoji. The settlement has its own Shinto tem- 
ple. I was extremely surprised at the aspect of 
the place ; for I had expected to see a good deal 

^ Since the time this letter to the MaU was -written, a 
primary school has been established for the yama-no-mono^ 
through the benevolence of Matsu^ citizens superior to 
prejudice. The undertaking did not escape severe local 
oritioism, but it seems to have proved sucoessfuL 


of ugliness and filth. On the contrary, I saw a 
multitude of neat dwellings, with pretty gardens 
about them, and pictures on the walls of the 
rooms. There were many trees; the village was 
green with shrubs and plants, and picturesque to 
an extreme degree ; for, owing to the irregularity 
of the ground, the tiny streets climbed up and 
down hill at all sorts of angles, — the loftiest 
street being fifty or sixty feet above the lower- 
most. A large public bath-house and a public 
laundry bore evidence that the yama-no-'mono 
liked clean linen as well as their heimin neigh- 
bors on the other side of the hill. 

^^A crowd soon gathered to look at the stran- 
gers who had come to their village, — a rare event 
for them. The faces I saw seemed much like 
the faces of the heimin^ except that I fancied the 
ugly ones were uglier, making the pretty ones 
appear more pretty by contrast. There were one 
or two sinister faces, recalling faces of gypsies 
that I had seen; while some little girls, on the 
other hand, had remarkably pleasing features. 
There were no exchanges of civilities, as upon 
meeting heimin; a Japanese of the better class 
would as soon think of taking off his hat to a 
yaTTva-no-mono as a West-Indian planter would 
think of bowing to a negro. The yama-no-rrumo' 
themselves usually show by their attitude that 
they expect no forms. None of the men saluted 
us; but some of the women, on being kindly 
addressed, made obeisance. Other women, weav- 
ing coarse straw sandals (an inferior quality of 
85ort), would answer only * yes ' or * no ' to ques- 
tions, and seemed to be suspicious of us. My 


friend called my attention to the fact that the 
women were dressed differently from Japanese 
women of the ordinary classes. For example, 
even among the very poorest heimin there are 
certain accepted laws of costume ; there are cer- 
tain colors which may or may not be worn, ac- 
cording to age. But even elderly women among 
these people wear obi of bright red or variegated 
hues, and kimono of a showy tint. 

^^ Those of the women seen in the city streets, 
selling or buying, are the elders only. The 
younger stay at home. The elderly women al- 
ways go into town with large baskets of a pecul- 
iar shape, by which the fact that they are ydmjOr- 
no-rrumo is at once known. Numbers of these 
baskets were visible, principally at the doors of 
the smaller dwellings. They are carried on the 
back, and are used to contain all that the yama- 
no-7rumo buy, — old paper, old wearing apparel, 
bottles, broken glass, and scrap-metal. 

^^A woman at last ventured to invite us to her 
house, to look at some old colored prints she 
wished to sell. Thither we went, and were as 
nicely received as in a heimin residence. The 
pictures — including a number of drawings by 
Hiroshige — proved to be worth buying ; and my 
friend then asked if we could have the pleasure 
of hearing the Daikohu-mai, To my great satis- 
faction the proposal was well received; and on 
our agreeing to pay a trifle to each singer, a small 
band of neat-looking young girls, whom we had 
not seen before, made their appearance, and pre- 
pared to sing, while an old woman made ready to 
dance. Both the old woman and the girls pro- 


vided themselves with curious instruments for the 
performance. Three girk had instruments shaped 
like mallets, made of paper and bamboo: these 
were intended to represent the hammer of Dai- 
koku ; ^ they were held in the left hand, a fan 
being waved in the right. Other girls were pro- 
vided with a kind of castanets, — two flat pieces 
of hard dark wood, connected by a string. Six 
girls formed in a line before the house. The old 
woman took her place facing the girls, holding 
in her hands two little sticks, one stick being 
notched along a part of its length. By drawing 
it across the other stick, a curious rattling noise 
was made. 

^'My friend pointed out to me that the singers 
formed two distinct parties, of three each. 
Those bearing* the hammer and fan were the 
Daikoku band: they were to sing the balladsr 
Those with the castanets were the Ebisu party- 
and formed the chorus. 

^^The old woman rubbed her little sticks to- 
gether, and from the throats of the Daikok«^ 
band there rang out a clear, sweet burst of song;, 
quite different &om anything I had heard before 
in Japan, while the tapping of the castanets kept 
exact time to the syllabification of the words, 
which were very rapidly uttered. When the first 
three girls had sung a certain number of lines, 

^ Daikoku la the popular Gk>d of Wealth. Ebisa is the 
patron of labor. See, for the history of these deities, an arti* 
cle (translated) entitled " The Seven QoAb of Happiness," by 
Carlo Poini, vol. iii. Transactions of the Asiatic Society, See, 
also, for an account of their place in Shinto worship, Glimpse* 
rf Unfamiliar Jcgpan^ vol. i 


the voices of the other three joined in, prodacing 
a very pleasant though nntrained harmony; and 
all sang the burden together. Then the Daikokn 
party began another verse ; and, after a certain in- 
terval, the chorus was again sung. In the mean 
while the old woman was dancing a very fantastic 
dance which provoked laughter from the crowd, 
occasionally chanting a few comic words. 

^'The song was not comic, however; it was a 
very pathetic ballad entitled * Yaoya 0-Shichi. ' 
Yaoya 0-Shichi was a beautiful girl, who set fire 
to her own house in order to obtain another meet- 
ing with her lover, an acolyte in a temple where 
she expected that her family would be obliged to 
take refuge after the fire. But being detected 
and convicted of arson, she was condemned by the 
severe law of that age to be burnt alive. The 
sentence was carried into effect; but the youth 
and beauty of the victim, and the motive of her 
offense, evoked a sympathy in the popular heart 
which found later expression in song and drama. 

"None of the performers, except the old woman, 
lifted the feet from the ground while singing ; — 
but all swayed their bodies in time to the melody. 
The singing lasted more than one hour, during 
which the voices never failed in their quality; 
and yet, so far from being weary of it, and although 
I could not understand a word uttered, I felt very 
sorry when it was all over. And with the pleasure 
received there came to the foreign listener also a 
strong sense of sympathy for the young singers, 
victims of a prejudice so ancient that its origin is 
no longer known. " 


The foregoing extracts &om my letter to the 
"Mail " tell the history of my interest in the Dai* 
koku-mai. At a later time I was able to pro- 
cure, through the kindness of my friend Nishida 
Sentaro, of Matsu^, written copies of three of 
the ballads as sung by the yama-no-mono ; and 
translations of these were afterwards made for 
me. I now venture to offer my prose renderings 
of the ballads, — based on the translations re- 
ferred to, — ' as examples of folk-song not devoid 
of interest. An absolutely literal rendering, exe- 
cuted with the utmost care, and amply supplied 
with explanatory notes, would be, of course, more 
worthy the attention of a learned society. Such 
a version would, however, require a knowledge of 
Japanese which I do not possess, as well as much 
time and patient labor. Were the texts in them- 
selves of value sufficient to justify a scholarly 
translation, I should not have attempted any 
translation at all; but I felt convinced that their 
interest was of a sort which could not be much 
diminished by a &ee and easy treatment. From 
any purely literary point of view, the texts are 
disappointing, exhibiting no great power of im- 
agination, and nothing really worthy to be called 
poetical art. While reading such verses, we find 
ourselves very far away indeed from the veritable 
poetry of Japan, — &om those compositions which, 
with a few chosen syllables only, can either create 
a perfect colored picture in the mind, or bestir 
the finest sensations of memory with marvelous 
penetrative delicacy. The DaikohU'Tnai are ex- 
tremely crude ; and their long popularity has been 
due, I fancy, rather to the very interesting man- 


net of singring them than to any quality which 
could permit ob to compare them with the old 
English hallads. 

The legends upon which these chants were 
based still exist in many other forms, including 
dramatic compositions. I need scarcely refer to 
the vast number of artistic suggestions which they 
have given, but I may observe that their influence 
in this regard has not yet passed away. Only a 
few months ago, I saw a number of pretty cot- 
ton prints, fresh from the mill, picturing Ogori- 
Hangwan making the hbrse Onikag^ stand upon 
a chessboard. Whether the versions of the ballads 
I obtained in Izumo were composed there or else- 
where I am quite unable to say; but the stories 
of Shuntoku-maru, Oguri-Hangwan, and Yaoya 
0-Shichi are certainly well known in every part 
of Japan. 

Together with these prose translations, I sub- 
mit to the Society the original texts, to which 
are appended some notes of interest about the 
local customs connected with the singing of the 
Da/ikohu-mai, about the symbols used by the 
dancers, and about the comic phrases chanted at 
intervals during the performances, — phrases of 
which the coarse humor sometimes forbids any 

All the ballads are written in the same meas- 
ure, exemplified by the first four lines of "Yaoya 

Koe ni yora ne no, aki no Bhika 
Tsmna yori miwoba kogasa nari 
Go-nin musnm^ no sanno de 
Iro mo kawasann Edo-zaknm. 


The choras, or hxiyashi^ does not seem to be 
sung at the end of a fixed number of lines, but 
rather at the termination of certain parts of the 
recitative. There is also no fixed limit to the 
number of singers in either band : these may be 
very many or very few. I think that the curi- 
ous Izumo way of singing the burden — so that 
the vowel sounds in the word iya uttered by 
one band, and in the word sorei uttered by the 
other, are made to blend together — might be 
worth the attention of some one interested in 
Japanese folk-music. Indeed, I am convinced 
that a very delightful and wholly unexplored field 
of study oifers itself in Japan to the student of 
folk-music and popular chants. The songs of the 
Honen-odori, or harvest dances, with their curious 
choruses ; the chants of the B<m-odori, which differ 
in every district; the strange snatches of song, 
often sweet and weird, that one hears from the 
rice - fields or the mountain slopes in remote 
provinces, have qualities totally different from 
those we are accustomed to associate with the 
idea of Japanese music, — a charm indisputable 
even for Western ears, because not less in har- 
mony with the nature inspiring it than the song 
of a bird or the shrilling of cicadse. To repro- 
duce such melodies, with their extraordinary frac- 
tional tones, would be no easy task, but I cannot 
help believing that the result would fully repay 
the labor. Not only do they represent a very 
ancient, perhaps primitive musical sense: they 
represent also something essentially characteristic 
of the race; and there is surely much to be 


learned in regard to race-emotion from the coih* 
parative study of folk-music. 

The fact, however, that few of those peculiar- 
ities which give so strange a charm to the old 
peasant-chants are noticeable in the Izumo man- 
ner of singing the Datkoku-mai would perhaps 
indicate that the latter are comparatively modem. 


Ara 1 — Joyfully young Daih^ and Ebisu enter dancing 

Shall we tell a tale, or shall we utter felicita- 
tions ? A tale : then of what is it best that we 
should tell ? Since we are bidden to your august 
house to relate a story, we shall relate the story 
of Shuntoku. 

Surely there once lived, in the Province of Ka- 
wachi, a very rich man called Nobuyoshi. And 
his eldest son was called Shuntoku-maru. 

When Shuntoku-maru, that eldest son, was only 
three years old, his mother died. And when he 
was five years old, there was given to him a step- 

When he was seven years old, his stepmother 
gave birth to a son who was called Otowaka- 
maru. And the two brothers grew up together. 

When Shuntoku became sixteen years old, he 
went to Kyoto, to the temple of Tenjin-Sama, to 
make offerings to the god. 

There he saw a thousand people going to the 
temple, and a thousand returning, and a thousand 


remaining: there was a gathering of three thou- 
sand persons.^ 

Through that multitude the youngest daughter 
of a rich man caUed Hagiyama was heing carried 
to the temple in a kagoJ^ Shuntoku also was 
traveling in a kago ; and the two kago moved 
side by side along the way. 

Gazing on the girl, Shuntoku fell in love with 
her. And the two exchanged looks and letters 
of love. 

All this was told to the stepmother of Shun- 
toku by a servant that was a flatterer. 

Then the stepmother began to think that should 
the youth remain in his father's home, the store- 
houses east and west, and the granaries north and 
south, and the house that stood in the midst, 
could never belong to Otowaka-maru. 

Therefore she devised an evil thing, and spoke 
to her husband, saying, ^'Sir, my lord, may I have 
your honored permission to be free for seven days 
from the duties of the household ? " 

Her husband answered, ^^ Yes, surely ; but 
what is it that you wish to do for seven days ? " 
She said to him: '^Before being wedded to my 
lord, I made a vow to the August Deity of Kiyo- 
midzu; and now I desire to go to the temple to 
fulfill that vow." 

Said the master: '^That is well. But which 
of the man servants or maid servants would you 
wish to go with you ? " Then she made reply : 

^ These nnxnbeTS sunply indicate a great mnltitnde in the 
language of the people ; they have no exact significance. 
^ Kago^ a kind of palanquin. 


^Neither man semuit nor maid servant do I re» 
quire. I wish to go all alone." 

And without paying heed to any advice about 
her journey, she departed from the house, and 
made great haste to Ky5to. 

Reaching the quarter Sanjo in the city of Ky- 
oto, she asked the way to the street Kajiyamachi, 
which is the Street of the Smiths. And finding 
it, she saw three smithies side by side. 

Groing to the middle one, she greeted the smith, 
and asked him: ^^Sir smith, can you make some 
fine small work in iron ? " And he answered : 
"Ay, lady, that I can." 

Then she said: "Make me, I pray you, nine 
and forty nails without heads." But he an- 
swered: "I am of the seventh generation of a 
family of smiths; yet never did I hear till now 
of nails without heads, and such an order I can- 
not take. It were better that you should ask 
elsewhere. " 

"Nay," said she, "since I came first to you, 
I do not want to go elsewhere. Make them for 
me, I pray, sir smith." He answered: "Of a 
truth, if I make such nails, I must be paid a 
thousand ryo. " ^ 

She replied to him: "If you make them all 
for me, I care nothing whether you desire one 
thousand or two thousand ryo. Make them, I 
beseech you, sir smith. " So the smith could not 
well refuse to make the nails. 

He arranged all things rightly to honor the 

^ The ancient ryo or tael had a value approximating thai 
of the dollar of 100 sen. 


Grod of the Bellows.^ Then taking up his first 
hammer, he recited the Kongo-Satra ; ^ taking up 
his second, he recited the Kwannon-Sutra ; taking 
up his third, he recited the Amida-Satra, — he- 
cause he feared those nails might he used for a 
wicked purpose. 

Thus in sorrow he finished the nails. Then 
was the woman much pleased. And receiving 
the nails in her left hand, she paid the money to 
the smith with her right, and bade him farewell, 
and went upon her way. 

When she was gone, then the smith thought : 
^^ Surely I have in gold hoban^ the sum of a thou- 
sand ryo. But this life of ours is only like the 
resting-place of a traveler journeying, and I 
must show to others some pity and kindness. To 
those who are cold I will give clothing, and to 
those who are hungry I will give food." 

And by announcing his intention in writings^ 
set up at the boundaries of provinces and at the 
limits of villages, he was able to show his benevo- 
lence to many people. 

On her way the woman stopped at the house of 
a painter, and asked the painter to paint for her 
a picture. 

1 Fnigo Sama, deity of smiihs. 

2 " Diamond Sutra." 

' £{>6an, a g^ld coin. There were hohan of a g^reat many 
eurions shapes and designs. The most common form was n 
flat or oyal disk, stamped with Chinese characters. Some 
\than were f nlly five inches in length by four in width. 

^ Public announcements are usually written upon smaU 
wooden tablets attached to a post ; and in the country such 
BimoimcementB are still set up just as suggested in the ballad 


And the painter questioned her, saying: ^^ Shall 
I paint you the picture of a very old plum-tree, 
or of an ancient pine ? " 

She said to him: '^No: I want neither the 
picture of an old plum-tree nor of an ancient 
pine. I want the picture of a boy of sixteen 
years, having a stature of five feet, and two moles 
upon his face." 

'^That," said the painter, ^'will be an easy 
thing to paint." And he made the picture in a 
very little time. It was much like Shuntoku- 
maru ; and the woman rejoiced as she departed. 

With that picture of Shuntoku she hastened to 
Kiyomidzu; and she pasted the picture upon one 
of the pillars in the rear of the temple. 

And with forty-seven out of the forty-nine 
nails she nailed the picture to the pillar; and 
with the two remaining nails she nailed the eyes. 

Then feeling assured that she had put a curse 
upon Shuntoku, that wicked woman went home. 
And she said humbly, ^^I have returned;" and 
she pretended to be faithful and true. 

Now three or four months after the stepmother 
of Shuntoku had thus invoked evil upon him he 
became very sick. Then that stepmother secretly 

And she spoke cunningly to Nobuyoshi, her hus- 
band, saying: "Sir, my lord, this sickness of 
Shuntoku seems to be a very bad sickness ; and it 
is difficult to keep one having such sickness in the 
house of a rich man." 

Then Nobuyoshi was much surprised, and sor- 
rowed greatly ; but, thinking to himself that in^ 


deed it could not be helped, he called Shuntokn 
to him, and said : — 

^^Son, this sickness which you have seems to 
be leprosy ; and one having such a sickness cannot 
continue to dwell in this house. 

^'It were best for you, therefore, to make a 
pilgrimage through all the provinces, in the hope 
that you may be healed by divine influence. 

''And my storehouses and my granaries I will 
not give to Otowaka-maru, but only to you, 
Shuntokn ; so you must come back to us. " 

Poor Shuntokn, not knowing how wicked his 
stepmother was, besought her in his sad condi- 
tion, saying: ''Dear mother, I have been told 
that I must go forth and wander as a pilgrim. 

"But now I am blind, and I cannot travel 
without difiGiculty. I should be content with one 
meal a day in place of three, and glad for per- 
mission to live in a comer of some storeroom or 
outhouse; but I should like to remain somewhere 
near my home. 

"Will you not please permit me to stay, if 
only for a little time? Honored mother, I be- 
seech you, let me stay." 

But she answered: "As this trouble which yon 
now have is only the beginning of the bad disease, 
it is not possible for me to suffer you to stay. 
Tou must go away from the house at once." 

Then Shuntokn was forced out of the house by 
the servants, and into the yard, sorrowing greatly. 

And the wicked stepmother, following, cried 
out: ''As your father has commanded, you must 
go away at once, ShSntoku." 


Shtntoka answered: ^^See, I haye not ev«n a 
traveling-dress. A pilgrim's gown and leggings 
I onght to have, and a pilgrim's wallet for b^- 

At hearing these words, the wicked stepmother 
was glad ; and she at once gave him all that he 

Shuntoku received the things, and thanked her, 
and made ready to depart, even in his piteous state. 

He put on the gown and hung a wooden mariyyri 
(charm) upon his breast,^ and he suspended the 
wallet about his neck. 

He put on his straw sandals and fastened them 
tightly, and took a bamboo staff in his hand> and 
placed a hat of woven rushes upon his head. 

And saying, ^'Farewell, father; farewell, mo- 
ther," poor Shuntoku started on his journey. 

Sorrowfully Nobuyoshi accompanied his son a 
part of the way, saying: ''It cannot be helped, 
Shuntoku. But if, through the divine favor of 
those august deities to whom that charm is dedi- 
cated, your disease should become cured, then come 
back to us at once, my son." 

Hearing from his father these kind words of 
farewell, Shuntoku felt much happier, and cover- 
ing his face with the great rush hat, so as not to 
be known to the neighbors, he went on alone. 

But in a little while, finding his limbs so weak 
that he was afraid he could not go far, and feel- 
ing his heart always drawn back toward his home, 

^ See Professor Chamberlain's " Notes on some Mmor Jap- 
anese Religions Practioes/' for full details of pilg^rimages and 
pilgrim costumes, in Journal of the Anthropological Instit¥t% 
(1803). The paper is excellently illustrated. 


80 that he could not help often stopping and turn- 
ing his face thither, he hecame sad again. 

Since it would have heen difficult for him to 
enter any dwelling, he had often to sleep under 
pine-trees or in the forests ; but sometimes he was 
lucky enough to find shelter in some wayside 
shrine containing images of the Buddhas. 

And once in the darkness of the morning, be- 
fore the breaking of the day, in the hour when the 
crows first begin to fly abroad and cry, the dead 
mother of Shuntoku came to him in a dream. 

And she said to him: ^^Son, your affliction has 
been caused by the witchcraft of your wicked 
stepmother. Go now to the divinity of Kiyo- 
nudzu, and beseech the goddess that yon may be 

Shuntoku arose, wondering, and took his way 
toward the city of Kyoto, toward the temple of 

One day, as he traveled, he went to the gate 
of the house of a rich man named Hagiyama, cry- 
ing out loudly : "Alms! alms!" 

Then a maid servant of the house, hearing the 
cry, came out and gave him food, and laughed 
aloud, saying: "Who could help laughing at the 
idea of trying to give anything to so comical a 
pilgrim? " 

Shuntoku asked: "Why do you laugh? I am 
the son of a rich and well-famed man, Nobuyoshi 
of Kawachi. But because bf a malediction in- 
voked upon me by my wicked stepmother, I have 
become as you see me." 

Then Otohim^, a daughter of that family, hear* 


ing the voices, came out, and asked the maid: 

The servant answered: "Oh, my lady, there 
was a blind man from Kawachi, who seemed 
aboat twenty years old, clinging to the pillar of 
the gate, and loadly crying, 'Alms! alms.' 

"So I tried to give him some clean rice upon 
a tray ; but when I held out the tray toward his 
right hand, he advanced his left ; and when I held 
out the tray toward his left hand, he advanced 
his right: that was the reason I could not help 

Hearing the maid explaining thus to the young 
lady, the blind man became angry, and said: 
"You have no right to despise strangers. I am 
the son of a rich and well-famed man in Kawachi, 
and I am called Shuntoku-maru. " 

Then the daughter of that house, Otohim^ 
suddenly remembering him, also became quite 
angry, and said to the servant: "You must not 
laugh rudely. Laughing at others to-day, you 
might be laughed at yourself to-morrow." 

But Otohim^ had been so startled that she 
could not help trembling a little, and, retiring to 
her room, she suddenly fainted away. 

Then in the house all was confusion, and a 
doctor was summoned in great haste. But the 
girl, being quite unable to take any medicine, 
only became weaker and weaker. 

Then many famous physicians were sent for; 
and they consulted together about Otohim^; and 
they decided at last that her sickness had been 
caused only by some sudden sorrow. 


So the mother said to her sick daughter: ^^Tell 
me, without concealment, if you have any secret 
grief; and if there be anything you want, what- 
ever it be, I will try to get it for you." 

Otohim^ replied: ^^I am very much ashamed; 
but I shall tell you what I wish. 

^'The blind man who came here the other day 
was the son of a rich and well-famed citizen of 
Kawachi, called Nobuyoshi. 

^'At the time of the festival of Tenjin at Ki* 
tano in Kyoto, I met that young man there, on 
my way to the temple; and we then exchanged 
letters of love, pledging ourselves to each other. 

>''And therefore I very much wish that I may 
be allowed to travel in search of him, until I find 
him, wherever he may be." 

The mother kindly made answer: ^^That, in* 
deed, will be well. If you wish for a kcbgo, you 
may have one; or if you would like to have a 
horse, you can have one. 

^^You can choose any servant you like to accom- 
pany you, and I can let you have as many kchan 
as you desire." 

Otohim^ answered: ^'Neither horse nor kcbgo 
do I need, nor any servant; I need only the dress 
of a pilgrim, — leggings and gown, — and a 
mendicant's wallet." 

For Otohim^ held it her duty to set out by 
herself all alone, just as Shuntoku had done. 

So she left home, saying farewell to her par- 
ents, with eyes full of tears : scarcely could she 
find voice to utter the word "good-by." 

Over mountains and mountains she passed^ and 


again orer moantains; hearing only the cries of 
wild deer and the sound of torrent-water. 

Sometimes she would lose her way; sometimes 
she would pursue alone a steep and difficult path; 
always she journeyed sorrowing. 

At last she saw hef ore her — far, far away — 
the pine-tree called Kawama-matsu, and the two 
rocks called Ota ; ^ and when she saw those rocks, 
she thought of Shuntoku with love and hope. 

Hastening on, she met five or six persons going 
to Kumano; and she asked them: '^Have yon 
not met on your way a blind youth, about sixteen 
years old ? " 

They made answer: '^No, not yet; but should 
we meet him anywhere, we will tell him whatever 
you wish." 

This reply greatly disappointed Otohim^; and 
she began to think that all her efforts to find her 
lover might be in vain ; and she became very sad. 

At last she became so sad that she resolved not 
to try to find him in this world any more, but to 
drown herself at once in the pool of Sawara, that 
she might be able to meet him in a future state. 

She hurried there as fast as she could. And 
when she reached the pond, she fixed her pil- 
grim's staff in the ground, and hung her outer 
robe on a pine-tree, and threw away her wallet, 
and, loosening her hair, arranged it in the style 
called Shimada,^ 

1 One meaning of " Ota " in Japanese is " has met " or 
" have met." 

^ The simple style in which the hair of dead women is 
arranged. See chapter *^ Of Women's Hair," in Glimpses of 
Unfamiliar Japan, yoL ii. 


Then, having filled her sleeves with stones, she 
was about to leap into the water, when there ap- 
peared suddenly before her a venerable man of 
seemingly not less than eighty years, robed all in 
p white, and bearing a tablet in his hand. 

And the aged man said to her: ^'Be not thus 
in haste to die, Otohim^! Shuntoku whom you 
seek is at Kiyomidzu San : go thither and meet 

These were, indeed, the happiest tidings she 
could have desired, and she became at once very 
happy. And she knew she had thus been saved 
by the august favor of her guardian deity, and 
that it was the god himself who had spoken to 
her those words. 

So she cast away the stones she had put into 
her sleeves, and donned again the outer robe she 
had taken off, and rearranged her hair, and took 
her way in all haste to the temple of Kiyomidzu. 

At last she reached the temple. She ascended 
the three lower steps, and glancing beneath a 
porch she saw her lover, Shuntoku, lying there 
asleep, covered with a straw mat ; and she called 
to him, ''Moshi! Moshil " ^ 

ShQntoku, thus being suddenly awakened, 
seized his staff, which was lying by his side, and 
cried out, "Every day the children of this neigh- 
borhood come here and annoy me, because I am 

^ An ezdaxnatioxi nttered to call the attention of another 
to the presence of the speaker, — from the respectful yerb 
moshi, ''to say.*' Car colloquial '*say " does not g^ve the 
proper meaning. Our ^ please " comes nearer to it. 


Otohim^ hearing these words, and feeling 
great sorrow, approached and laid her hands on 
her poor lover, and said to him : — 

^*I am not one of those had, mischievous chil- 
dren; I am the daughter of the wealthy Hagi- 
yama. And hecaose I promised myself to you at 
the festival of Kitano Tenjin in Kyoto, I have 
come here to see you." 

Astonished at hearing the voice of his sweet- 
heart, Shuntoku rose up quickly, and cried out : 
^^Oh! are you really Otohim^? It is a long time 

since we last met hut this is so strange ! Is 

it not all a lie ? " 

And then, stroking each other, they could only 
cry, instead of speaking. 

But presently Shuntoku, giving way to the ex- 
citement of his grief, cried out to Otohim^: *^A 
malediction has heen laid upon me hy my step- 
mother, and my appearance has been changed, as 
you see. 

^^ Therefore never can I be united to you as 
your husband. Even as I now am, so must I 
remain until I fester to death. 

*'And so you must go back home at once, and 
live in happiness and splendor." 

But she answered in great sorrow: "Never! 
Are you really in earnest? Are you truly in 
your right senses ? 

^^No, no! I have disguised myself thus only 
because I loved you enough even to give my life 
for you. 

"And now I will never leave you, no matter 
what may become of me in the future." 


Shuntoku was comforted by these words; but 
he wa43 also filled with pity for her, so that he 
wept, without being able to speak a word. 

Then she said to him: ^^ Since your wicked 
stepmother bewitched you only because you were 
rich, I am not afraid to revenge you by bewitch- 
ing her also; for I, too, am the child of a rich 

And then, with her whole heart, she spoke thus 
to the divinity within the temple : — 

'^For the space of seven days and seven nights 
I shall remain fasting in this temple, to prove my 
vow; and if you have any truth and pity, I be- 
seech you to save us. 

'^For so great a building as this a thatched 
roof is not the proper roof. I will re-roof it 
with feathers of little birds; and the ridge of the 
roof I will cover with thigh-feathers of falcons. 

"This torii and these lanterns of stone are 
ugly: I will erect a torii of gold; and I will 
make a thousand lamps of gold and a thousand of 
silver, and every evening I will light them. 

"In so large a garden as this there should be 
trees. I will plant a thousand hinoki^ a thousand 
sug% a thousand karamcutsu. 

"But if Shuntoku should not be healed by 
reason of this vow, then he and I will drown 
ourselves together in yonder lotos-pond. 

"And ufter our death, taking the form of two 
great serpents, we will torment all who come to 
worship at this temple, and bar the way against 

Now, strange to say, on the night of the seventh 


day after she had vowed tins vowy thare oame 
to her in a dream Kwannon-Sama, who said to heri 
^The prayer which 70a prayed I shall grant.'* 

Forthwith Otohim^ awoke, and told her dream 
to Sh&ntoku, and they both wondered. They 
arose, and went down to the river together, and 
washed themselves, and worshiped the goddess. 

Then, strange to say, the eyes of blind Shnn- 
toku were fully opened, and his clear sight came 
back to him, and the disease passed away from 
him. And both wept because of the g^reatoeas ol 
their joy. 

Together they sought an inn, and there laid 
aside their pilgrim-dresses, and put cm freah 
robes, and hired keigo and carriers to bear them 

Beaching the hoose of bis father, Shontolai 
cried ont: ^^ Honored parents, I have returned to 
yon ! By virtue of the written charm upon the 
sacred tablet, I have been healed of my sickneoa, 
as you may see. Is all well with you, honored 
parents? " 

And Shuntoku's father, hearing, ran oat and 
cried: *^0h! how much troubled I have been for 
your sake! 

^ Never for one moment could I cease to think 
of you; but now — how glad I am to see yoiu 
and the bride you have broo|^t with you! ^ And 
all rejoiced together. 

But, on the other hand, it was very strange 
that the wicked stepmother at the same moment 
became suddenly Uind, and that her fingesa and 


her toes began to rot, so that she was in great tor« 

Then the bride and the bridegroom said to that 
wicked stepmother: ^'Lol the leprosy has come 
upon you ! 

^^ We cinnot keep a leper in the house of a rich 
man. Please to go away at once! 

"We shall give you a pilgrim's gown and leg- 
gings, a rush hat, and a staff; for we have all 
these things ready here." 

Then the wicked stepmother knew that even to 
save her from death it could not be helped, be- 
cause she herself had done so wicked a thing be- 
fore. Shuntoku and his wife were very glad; 
how rejoiced they were ! 

The stepmother prayed them to allow her only 
one small meal a day, — just as Shuntoku had 
done ; but Otohim^ said to the stricken woman : 
"We cannot keep you here, — not even in the 
comer of an outhouse. Go away at once ! " 

Also Nobuyoshi said to his wicked wife: 
"What do you mean by remaining here? How 
long do you require to go ? " 

And he drove her out, and she could not help 
herself, and she went away crying, and striving 
to hide her face from the sight of the neighbors. 

Otowaka led his blind mother by the hand; 
and together they went to Kyoto and to the tem- 
ple of Kiyomidzu. 

When they got there they ascended three of the 
temple steps, and knelt down, and prayed the 
goddess, saying: "Give us power to cast another 
malediction ! " 


Bat the goddess suddenly appeared before 
them, and said: '^Were it a good thing that yon 
pray for, I would grant your prayer; but with 
an evil matter I will have no more to do. 

^^If you must die, then die there! And after 
your death you shall be sent to hell, and there 
put into the bottom of an iron caldron to be 

This 18 the end of the Story of Shuntohu. 
With a jubilant tap of the fan we finish so I 
JcyfuUyj — joyfuUyy — joyfuUy! 


To tett every word of the taUf — tkis is the story of Oguri- 



The famed Takakura Dainagon, whose other 
name was Ean^-i^, was so rich that he had treas- 
ure-houses in every direction. 

He owned one precious stone that had power 
over fire, and another that had power over water. 

He also had the claws of a tiger, extracted 
from the paws of the living animal; he had the 
horns of a colt; and he likewise owned even a 
musk-cat (jako-neko).^ 

^ *' Musk-rat " is the traxislation giyen by some diction- 
aries. ** Musk-deer " was suggested by my translator. But 
as some mythological animal is evidently meant, I thonghi 
It better to translate the word literally. 


Of all that a man might have in this world, he 
wanted nothing except an heir, and he had no 
other cause for sorrow. 

A trusted servant in his house named Ikeno- 
sho ji said at last to him these words : — 

''Seeing that the Buddhist deity Tamon-Ten, 
enshrined upon the holy mountain of Kurama, 
is famed for his divine favor far and near, I 
respectfully entreat you to go to that temple and 
make prayer to him; for then your wish will 
surely be fulfilled." 

To this the master agreed, and at once began 
to make preparation for a journey to the temple. 

As he traveled with great speed he reached the 
temple very soon ; and there, having purified his 
body by pouring water over it, he prayed with all 
his heart for an heir. 

And during three days and three nights he 
abstained from food of every sort. But all seemed 
in vain. 

Wherefore the lord, despairing because of the 
silence of the god, resolved to perform haroMri 
in the temple, and so to defile the sacred building. 

Moreover, he resolved that his spirit, after his 
death, should haunt the mountain of Kurama, 
to deter and terrify all pilgrims upon the nine- 
mile path of the mountain. 

The delay of even one moment would have been 
fatal; but good Ikenoshoji came running to the 
place just in time, and prevented the 8&p]pvka} 

"Oh, my lord! " the retainer cried, " you are 
Burely too hasty in your resolve to die. 

1 The Chineie term for harakvri. It is thought to be the 
moze refined word. 


^Bather first suiter me to trj n^ fortoney and 
see if I may not be able to offer up prajer for 
your sake with more success/' 

Tben after having twenty-one times purified 
his body, — seven times wai^iing with hot water, 
seven times with cold, and yet another seven 
times washing himself with a handle of bamboo- 
grass, — he thus prayed to the god : — 

^If to my lord an heir be given by the divine 
favor, then I vow that I will make offering of 
paving-blocks of bronze wherewith to pave this 
temple court. 

^Also of lanterns of bronze to stand in rows 
without the temple, and of plating of pure gold 
and pure silver to cover all the pillars within! '' 

And upon the third of the three nights which 
he passed in prayer before the god, Tamon-Ten 
revealed himself to the pious Ikenoshoji and said 
to him: — 

^^ Earnestly wishing to grant your petition, I 
sought far and near for a fitting heir, — even as 
far as Tenjiku (India) and Kara (China). 

^'But thou^ human beings are numerous as the 
stars in the sky or the countless pebbles upon 
the shore, I was grieved that I could not find of 
the seed of man one heir that might well be given 
to your master. 

^*And at last, knowing not what else to do, 
I took away by stealth [the spirit?] of one of 
the eight children whose father was one of the 
Shi-Tenno,^ residing on the peak Ari-ari, far 

^ Shi-Tenno : the Four Deva King^ of Baddhism, who 
guard the Four Quarters of the World. 


among the Dandoka mountains. And that child 
I will give to become the heir of your master. " 

Having thus spoken, the deity retired within 
the innermost shrine. Then Ikenoshoji, starting 
from his real dream, nine times prostrated himself 
before the god, and hastened to the dwelling of 
his master. 

Erelong the wife of Takakura Dainagon found 
herself with child ; and after the ten ^ happy 
months she bore a son with painless labor. 

It was strange that the infant had upon his 
forehead, marked quite plainly and naturally, the 
Chinese character for "rice." 

And it was yet more strange to find that in his 
eyes four Buddhas ^ were reflected. 

Ikenoshoji and the parents rejoiced; and the 
name Ari-waka (Young Ari) was given the child 
— after the name of the mountain Axi-ari — on 
the third day after the birth. 


Very quickly the child grew ; and when he be- 
came fifteen, the reigning Emperor gave him the 
name and title of Oguri-Hangwan Kan^-uji. 

When he reached manhood his father resolved 
to get him a bride. 

^ That is, ten by the ancient native manner of reckoning 

^ Shitai-no-mi-Hotok^ : literally, a four-bodied-ang^ist 
Bnddha. The image in the eye is called the Bnddha : the 
idea here expressed seems to be that the eyes of the child 
reflected four instead of two images. Children of snper« 
natural beings were popularly said to have double pupikb 
Bnt I am giving only a popular explanation of the term. 


So the Dainagon looked apon all the daaghten 
of the ministen and high officials, but he found 
none that he thought worthy to become the wife 
of his son. 

But the young Hangwan, learning that he him- 
self had been a gift to his parents from Tamon- 
Ten, resolved to pray to that deity for a spouse ; 
and he hastened to the temple of the divinity, 
accompanied by Ikenoshoji. 

There they washed their hands and rinsed 
their mouths, and remained three nights without 
sleep, passing all the time in religious exercises. 

But as they had no companions, the young 
prince at last felt very lonesome, and began to 
play on his flute, made of the root of the bam- 

Seemingly charmed by these sweet sounds, the 
great serpent that lived in the temple pond came 
to the entrance of the temple, — transforming its 
fearful shape into the likeness of a lovely female 
attendant of the Imperial Court, — and fondly 
listened to the melody. 

Then Kan^-uji thought he saw before him the 
very lady he desired for a wife. And thinking 
also that she was the one chosen for him by the 
deity, he placed the beautiful being in a palan- 
quin and returned to his home. 

But no sooner had this happened than a fearful 
storm burst upon the capital, followed by a great 
flood; and the flood and the storm both lasted 
for seven days and seven nights. 

The Emperor was troubled greatly by these 
omens ; and he sent for the astrologers, that they 
might explain the causes thereof. 


They said in answer to the questions asked of 
them that the terrible weather was caused only 
by the anger of the male serpent, seeking ven- 
geance for the loss of its mate, — which was none 
other than the fair woman that Elan^-uji had 
brought back with him. 

Whereupon the Emperor commanded that Kan^- 
uji should be banished to the province of Hitachi, 
and that the transformed female serpent should 
at once be taken back to the pond upon the moun- 
tain of Kurama. 

And being thus compelled by imperial order 
to depart, Kan^-uji went away to the province of 
Hitachi, followed only by his faithful retainer, 


Only a little while after the banishment of 
Kan^-uji, a traveling merchant, seeking to sell 
his wares, visited the house of the exiled prince 
at Hitachi. 

And being asked by the Hangwan where he 
lived, the merchant made answer, saying : — 

^'I live in Kyoto, in the street called Muro- 
machi, and my name is Goto Say^mon. 

'^My stock consists of goods of one thousand 
and eight different kinds which I send to China, 
of one thousand and eight kinds which I send to 
India, and yet another thousand and eight kinds 
which I sell only in Japan. 

'^So that my whole stock consists of three 
thousand and twenty-four different kinds of 


^Concerning the coontries to which I have 
abeady been, I may answer that I have already 
made three voyages to India and three to China; 
and this is my seventh journey to this part of 

Having heard these things, Ogori - Hangwan 
asked the merchant whether he knew of any- 
young girl who would make a worthy wife, since 
he, the prince, being still unmarried, desired to 
find such a girl. 

Then said Say^mon: ^^In the province of Sa- 
gami, to the west of us, there lives a rich man 
called Yokoyama Choja, who has eight sons. 

'^Long he hunented that he had no daughter, 
and he long prayed for a daughter to the August 

^^And a daughter was given him; and after 
her birth, her parents thought it behoved them to 
give her a higher rank than their own, because 
her birth had come to pass through the divine in- 
fluence of the August Heaven-Shining Deity; so 
they built for her a separate dwelling. 

"She is, in very truth, superior to all other 
Japanese women; nor can I think of any other 
person in every manner worthy of you." 

This story much pleased Kan^-uji; and he at 
once asked Say^mon to act the part of match- 
maker^ for him; and Say^mon promised to do 
everything in his power to fulfill the wish of the 

Then Kan^-uji called for inkstone and writing- 

^ Nakodo. The profession of nakodo exists ; but any per- 
son who arranges marriages for a consideration is for the 
time being called the nakodo. 


brash, and wrote a love-letter, and tied it ap 
with such a knot as love-letters are tied with. 

And he gave it to the merchant to be delivered 
to the lady; and he gave him also, in reward for 
his services, one hundred golden ryo, 

Say^mon aga\n and again prostrated himself in 
thanks; and he put the letter into the box which 
he always carried with him. And then he lifted 
the box upon his back, and bade the prince fare- 

Now, although the journey from Hitachi to 
Sagami is commonly a journey of seven days, the 
merchant arrived there at noon upon the third 
day, having traveled in all haste, night and day 
together, without stopping. 

And he went to the buildii^ called Inui-no« 
Goshyo, which had been built by the rich Yoko- 
yama for the sake of his only daughter, Terut^- 
Him^, in the district of Soba, in the province of 
Sagami ; and he asked permission to enter therein. 

But the stem gate-keepers bade him go away, 
announcing that the dwelling was the dwelling 
of Terut^Him^, daughter of the famed Choja 
Yokoyama, and that no person of the male sex 
whosoever could be permitted to enter; and fur- 
thermore, that guards had been appointed to guard 
the palace — ten by night and ten by day — with 
extreme caution and severity. 

But the merchant told the gate-keepers that he 
was Groto Say^mon, of the street called Muro- 
machi, in the city of Kyoto ; that he was a well- 
famed merchant there, and was by the people 
called Sendanya ; that he had thrice been to India 
and thrice to China, and was now i^n his sev- 


enth return joomey to the great cotintiy of the 
Bising Sun. 

And he said also to them: ''Into all the pal- 
aces of Nihon, save this one only, I have been 
freely admitted ; so I shall be deeply grateful to 
you if you permit me to enter." 

Thus saying, he produced many rolls of silk, 
and presented them to the gate-keepers; and 
their cupidity made them hlind; and the mer- 
chant, without more difficulty, entered, rejoicing. 

Through the great outer gate he passed, and 
oyer a hridge, and then found himself in front of 
the chambers of the female attendants of the 
superior class. 

And he called out with a very loud voice: 
''O my ladies, all things that you may require I 
have here with me ! 

''I have all jorogata-no-meshv-dogu ; I have 
hair-combs and needles and tweezers; I have 
tategami, and combs of silver, and kamcji from 
Nagasaki, and even all kinds of Chinese mir- 
rors ! " 

Whereupon the ladies, delighted with the idea 
of seeing these things, suffered the merchant to 
enter their apartment, which he presently made 
to look like a shop for the sale of female toilet 

But while making bargains and selling very 
quickly, Saydmon did not lose the good chance 
offered him; and taking from his box the love- 
letter which had been confided to him, he said to 
the ladies : — 

"This letter, if I remember rightly, I picked 


np in some town in Hitachi, and I shall be yery 
glad if you will accept it, — either to use it for 
a model if it be written beautifully, or to laugh 
at if it prove to have been written awkwardly. " 

Then the chief among the maids, receiving the 
letter, tried to read the writing upon the envelope : 
" Tsuki ni Jvoshi — ame ni arare ga — kori 
kanaj " — 

Which signified, ^^Moon and stars — rain and 
hail — make ice." But she could not read the 
riddle of the mysterious words. 

The other ladies, who were also unable to guess 
the meaning of the words, could not but laugh; 
and they laughed so shrilly that the Princess 
Terut^ heard, and came among them, fully robed, 
and wearing a veil over her night-black hair. 

And the bamboo-screen having been rolled up 
before her, Terut^-Him^ asked: ^^What is the 
cause of all this laughing? If there be anything 
amusing, I wish that you will let me share in the 
amusement. " 

The maids then answered, saying: '^We were 
laughing only at our being unable to read a letter 
which this merchant from the capital says that 
he picked up in some street. And here is the 
letter: even the address upon it is a riddle to 

And the letter, having been laid upon an open 
crimson fan, was properly presented to the prin- 
cess, who received it, and admired the beauty of 
the writing, and said:- 

^^ Never have I seen so beautiful a hand as 
this : it is like the writing of Kobodaishi himself y 
or of Monju Bosatsu. 



^Perhaps the writer is one of thoee jvinces of 
the Ichijo, or Nij5, or SanjS families, all famed 
for their skill in writing. 

''Or, if this gaess of mine be wrong, then 
I should say that these characters have certainly 
been written by Ogori-Hangwan Kan^uji, now so 
famed in the province of Hitachi. ... I ahall 
read the letter for you." 

Then the envelope was removed; and the first 
phrase she read was Fuji no yama (the Moun- 
tain of Fuji), which she interpreted as signifying 
loftiness of rank. And then she met with such 
phrases as these : — 

Kiyomidzu kasaka (the name of a place); 
arare ni ozasa (hail on the leaves of the bamboo- 
grass); Uaya ni arare (hail following upon a 
wooden roof) ; 

Tamoto ni kori (ice in the sleeve) ; nonaka ni 
shimidzu (pure water running through a moor) ; 
koike ni makomo (rushes in a little pond) ; 

Inoba ni tsuyu (dew on the leaves of the tare) ; 
afuikunaga obi (a very long girdle); shika ni 
momiji (deer and maple-trees) ; 

FutaTncuta-gawa (a forked river) ; hmo tanigawa^ 
ni marukibashi (a round log laid over a little 
stream for a bridge) ; tsurunashi yumi ni hamike 
dori (a stringless bow, and a wingless bird). 

And then she understood that the characters 
signified : — 

Maireba au — they would meet, for he would 
call upon her. Arare nai — then they would not 
be separated. Korobi au — they would repose 

And the meaning of the rest was thus: •— 


^^This letter should be opened within the 
sleeve, so that others may know nothing of it. 
Keep the secret in your own bosom. 

^^You must yield to me even as the rush bends 
to the wind. I am earnest to serve you in all 

^^ We shall surely be united at last, whatever 
chance may separate us at the beginning. I wish 
for you even as the stag for its mate in the au- 

^^Even though long kept apart we shall meet, 
as meet the waters of a river divided in its upper 
course into two branches. 

"Divine, I pray you, the meaning of this let- 
ter, and preserve it. I hope for a fortunate an- 
swer. Thinking of Terut^-Him^, I feel as though 
I could fly." 

And the Princess Terut^ found at the end of 
the letter the name of him who wrote it, — 
Oguri - Hangwan Kan^ - u ji himself, — together 
with her own name, as being written to her. 

Then she felt greatly troubled, because she 
had not at first supposed that the letter was ad- 
dressed to her, and had, without thinking, read it 
aloud to the female attendants. 

For she well knew that her father would 
quickly kill her in a most cruel manner, should 
the iron-hearted Choja ^ come to know the truth. 

^ Choja is not a proper name : it signifies really a wealthy 
man only, like the French terms *' nn richard/* " nn riche." 
But it is nsed almost like a proper name in the country still ; 
the richest man in the place, usually a person of influence, 
being often referred to as *^ the Choja." 


"Wheref ore, throogfa fear of being mingled with 
the earth of the moor Uwanogahara, — fitting 
pUiee for a father in wrath to slay his daughter, 
— she set the end of the letter between her 
teeth, and rent it to pieces, and withdrew to the 
inner apartment. 

But the merchant, knowing that he conld not 
gro back to Hitachi without bearing some reply, 
resolved to obtain one by cunning. 

Wherefore he hurried after the princess even 
into her innermost apartment, without so much as 
waiting to remove his sandals, and he cried out 
loudly : — 

''Oh, my princess! I have been taught that 
written characters were invented in India by 
Monju Bosatsu, and in Japan by Kobodaishi. 

''And is it not like tearing the hands of Kobo- 
daishi, thus to tear a letter written with charac- 

"Know you not that a woman is less pure than 
a man ? Wherefore, then, do you, bom a woman, 
thus presume to tear a letter? 

"Now, if you refuse to write a reply, I shall 
call upon all the gods ; I shall announce to them 
this unwomanly act, and I shall invoke their 
malediction upon you ! " 

And with these words he took from the box 
which he always carried with him a Buddhist 
rosary; and he began to twist it about with an 
awful appearance of anger. 

Then the Princess Terut^, terrified and grieved, 
prayed him to cease his invocations, and promised 
that she would write an answer at once. 


So her answer was quickly written, and given 
to the merchant, who was overjoyed by his suc- 
cess, and speedily departed for Hitachi, carrying 
his box upon his back. 


Traveling with great speed, the nakodo quickly 
arrived at the dwelling of the Hangwan, and gave 
the letter to the master, who removed the cover 
with hands that trembled for joy. 

Very, very short the answer was, — only these 
words: Oki naka bunSy '^a boat floating in the 

But Eand-uji guessed the meaning to be: ^^As 
fortunes and misfortunes are conunon to all, be 
not afraid, and try to come unseen." 

Therewith he smnmoned Ikenoshoji, and bade 
him make all needful preparation for a rapid 
journey. Groto Say^mon consented to serve as 

He accompanied them ; and when they reached 
the district of Soba, and were approaching the 
house of the princess, the guide said to the 
prince : — 

'^That house before us, with the black gate, is 
the dwelling of the far-famed Yokoyama Choja; 
and that other house, to the northward of it, hav- 
ing a red gate, is the residence of the flower-fair 

^^Be prudent in all things, and you will suc- 
ceed." And with these words, the guide disap* 


Aoeompaiiied by his faithful retamer, tha 
Hangwan approached the red gate. 

Both attempted to enter, when the gate-keepers 
sought to prevent them; declaring they were 
much too bold to seek to enter the dwelling of 
Temt^Him^ only daughter of the renowned To- 
koyama ChSja, — the sacred child begotten 
through the favor of the deity of the Sun. 

^Tou do but right to speak thus,*' the retainer 
made reply. '^But you must learn that we are 
officers from the city in search of a fugitive. 

''And it is just because all males are prohibited 
from entering this dwelling that a search therein 
must be made." 

Then the guards, amazed, suffered them to 
pass, and saw the supposed officers of justice enter 
the court, and many of the ladies in waiting come 
forth to welcome them as guests. 

And the Lady Terut^, marvelously pleased by 
the coming of the writer of that love-letter, ap- 
peared before her wooer, robed in her robes of 
ceremony, with a veil about her shoulders. 

E[an^-uji was also much delighted at being thus 
welcomed by the beautiful maiden. And the 
wedding ceremony was at once performed, to the 
great joy of both, and was followed by a great 
wine feast. 

So great was the mirth, and so joyful were all, 
that the followers of the prince and the maids of 
the princess danced together, and together made 

And Og^i - Hangwan himself produced his 
flute, made of the root of a bamboo, and began 
to play upon it sweetly. 


Then the father of Tenit^, hearing all this 
joyous din in the house of his daughter, wondered 
greatly what the cause might be. 

But when he had been told how the Hangwan 
had become the bridegroom of his daughter with- 
out his consent, the ChSja grew wondrous angry, 
and in secret devised a scheme of revenge. 


The next day Yokoyama sent to Prince Ean^- 
uji a message, inviting him to come to his house, 
there to perform the wine-drinking ceremony of 
greeting each other as father-in-law and son-in- 

Then the Princess Terut^ sought to dissuade 
the Hangwan from going there, because she had 
dreamed in the night a dream of ill omen. 

But the Hangwan, making light of her fears, 
went boldly to the dwelling of the Choja, fol- 
lowed by his young retainers. 

Then Tokoyama Choja, rejoicing, caused many 
dishes to be prepared, containing all delicacies 
furnished by the mountains and the sea,^ and well 
entertained the Hangwan. 

At last, when the wine-drinking began to flag, 
Tokoyama uttered the wish that his guest, the 
lord Kan^-uji, would also furnish some entertain- 

1 Or, " with all strange flavors of mountain and sea." 
^ The word is really aakanay *' fish." It has always been 
the role to serre fish with salU; and gradually the word 
** fish " became used for any entertainment given during th^ 
Wine-party by guests, snol^ as songs, danoes, eto. 


^ And what shall it be ? " the Hangwan asked. 

''Truly," replied the ChSja, ''I am desirons to 
see you show your great skill in riding. " 

''Then I shall ride," the prince made answer. 
And presently the horse called Onikag^ ^ was led 

That horse was so fierce that he did not seem 
to be a real horse, but rather a demon or a dragon, 
so that few dared even to approach him. 

But the Prince Hangwan Eand-uji at once 
loosened the chain by which the horse was fas-* 
tened, and rode upon him with wondrous ease. 

In spite of his fierceness, Onikag^ found him- 
self obliged to do everything which his rider 
wished. All present, Yokoyama and the others, 
could not speak for astonishment. 

But soon the Choja, taking and setting up a 
six-folding screen, asked to see the prince ride 
his steed upon the upper edge of the screen. 

The lord Ognri, consenting, rode upon the top 
of the screen ; and then he rode along the top of 
an upright shdji frame. 

Then a chessboard being set out, he rode upon 
it, making the horse rightly set his hoof upon the 
squares of the chessboard as he rode. 

And, lastly, he made the steed balance himself 
upon the frame of an andon.^ 

^ literally, '* Demon-deer-hair." The term " deer-hair " 
refers to color. A less exact translation of the original 
characters wonld be ** the demon chestnut." Kag4, *' deer- 
color," also means "chestnut." A chestnut horse iaKag^ 

* A large portable lantern, having a wooden frame and 
paper sides. There are andon of many forms, some Remark- 
ably beaatifnL 


Then Yokoyama was at a loss what to do, and 
ne could only say, bowing low to the prince: 
"Truly I am grateful for your entertainment; I 
am very much delighted." 

And the lord Oguri, having attached Onikag^ 
to a cherry-tree in the garden, reentered the 

But Saburo, the third son of the house, hav- 
ing persuaded his father to kill the Hangwan 
with poisoned wine, urged the prince to drink sak6 
with which there had been mingled the venom of 
a blue centipede and of a blue lizard, and foul 
water that had long stood in the hollow joint of 
a bamboo. 

And the Hangwan and his followers, not sus- 
pecting the wine had been poisoned, drank the 

Sad to say, the poison entered into their viscera 
and their intestines; and all their bones burst 
asunder by reason of the violence of that poison. 

Their lives passed from them quickly as dew in 
the morning from the grass. 

And Saburo and his father buried their corpses 
in the moor Uwanogahara. 


The cruel Tokoyama thought that it would not 
do to suffer his daughter to live, after he had thus 
killed her husband. Therefore he felt obliged to 
order his faithful servants, Onio and Oniji, ^ who 

^ Onio, *' the \diig of deyik," Oniji, " the next greatest 



ware brothen, to take her far oat into the sea of 
Sagami, and to drown her there. 

And the two brothers, knowing their master 
was too stony-hearted to be persuaded otherwise, 
coold do nothing but obey. So they went to the 
unhappy lady, and told her the porpose for which 
they had been sent. 

Temt^Him^ was so astonished by her father's 
cruel decision that at first she thought all this 
was a dream, from which she earnestly prayed to 
be awakened. 

After a while she said: ^^ Never in my whole 
life have I knowingly committed any crime. • . . 
But whatever happen to my own body, I am more 
anxious than I can say to learn what became of 
my husband after he visited my father's house. " 

''Our master," answered the two brothers, 
^becoming very angry at learning that you two 
had been wedded without his lawful permission, 
poisoned the young prince, according to a plan 
devised by your brother Saburo." 

Then Terut^, more and more astonished, in- 
voked, with just cause, a malediction upon her 
father for his cruelty. 

But she was not even allowed time to lament 
her fate ; for Onio and his brother at once removed 
her garments, and put her naked body into a roll 
of rush matting. 

When this piteous package was carried out of 
the house at night, the princess and her waiting- 
maids bade each other their last farewells, with 
Bobs and cries of grief. 

The brothers Onio and Oniji then rowed far 


ont to sea with their pitiful burden. But when 
they found themselves alone, then Oniji said to 
Onio that it were better they should try to save 
their young mistress. 

To this the elder brother at once agreed with* 
out difficulty ; and both began to think of some 
plan to save her. 

Just at the same time an empty canoe came 
near them, drifting with the sea-current. 

At once the lady was placed in it; and the 
brothers, exclaiming, '^That indeed was a fortu- 
nate happening," bade their mistress farewell, 
and rowed back to their master. 


The canoe bearing poor Temt^ was tossed 
about by the waves for seven days and seven 
nights, during which time there was much wind 
and rain. And at last it was discovered by some 
fishermen who were fishing near Nawoy^. 

But they thought that the beautiful woman was 
certainly the spirit that had caused the long storm 
of many days ; and Terut^ might have been killed 
by their oars, had not one of the men of Nawoy^ 
taken her under his protection. 

Now this man, whose name was Murakimi 
Dayu, resolved to adopt the princess as his daugh- 
ter, as he had no child of his own to be his heir. 

So he took her to his home, and named her 
Torihim^, and treated her so kindly that his wife 
grew jealous of the adopted daughter, and there- 
fore was often cruel to her when the husband was 


Bat being still more angered to find that Tori« 
him^ wonid not go away of her own accord, the 
evil-hearted woman began to devise some means 
of getting rid of her forever. 

Just at that time the ship of a kidnapper hap- 
pened to cast anchor in the harbor. Needless to 
say that Torihim^ was secretly sold to this dealer 
in hmnan flesh. 


After this misfortune, the unhappy princess 
passed from one master to another as many as 
seventy-five times. Her last purchaser was one 
Torodzuya Chobei, well known as the keeper of 
a large joroya ^ in the province of Mine. 

When Terut^-£[im^ was first brought before 
this new master, she spoke meekly to him, and 
begged him to excuse her ignorance of all refine- 
ments and of deportment. And Chobei then 
asked her to tell him all about herself, her native 
place, and her family. 

But Terut^-Himd thought it would not be wise 
to mention even the name of her native province, 
lest she might possibly be forced to speak of the 
poisoning of her husband by her own father. 

So she resolved to answer only that she was 
born in Hitachi ; feeling a sad pleasure in say- 
ing that she belonged to the same province in 
which the lord Hangwan, her lover, used to live. 

"I was born," she said, "in the province of 
Hitachi; but I am of too low birth to have a 

^ A house of prostitution. 


family name. Therefore may I beseech you to 
bestow some suitable name upon me ? " 

Then Terutd-Him^ was named Kohagi of Hita- 
chi, and she was told that she would have to 
serve her master very faithfully in his business. 

But this order she refused to obey, and said 
that she would perform with pleasure any work 
given her to do, however mean or hard, but that 
she would never follow the business of a joro, 

"Then," cried Chobei in anger, "your daily 
tasks shall be these : — 

"To feed all the horses, one hundred in num- 
ber, that are kept in the stables, and to wait 
upon all other persons in the house when they 
take their meals. 

"To dress the hair of the thirty-six ^oro be- 
longing to this house, dressing the hair of each 
in the style that best becomes her; and also to 
fill seven boxes with threads of twisted hemp. 

"Also to make the fire daily in seven furnaces, 
and to draw water from a spring in the mountains, 
half a mile from here." 

Terut^ knew that neither she nor any other 
being alive could possibly fulfill all the tasks thus 
laid upon her by this cruel master; and she wept 
over her misfortune. 

But she soon felt that to weep could avail her 
nothing. So wiping away her tears, she bravely 
resolved to try what she could do, and then put- 
ting on an apron, and tying back her sleeves, she 
set to work feeding the horses. 

The great mercy of the gods cannot be under- 
stood; but it is certain that as she fed the first 


hone, all the others, through divine infliieiiee^ 
were fully fed at the same time. 

And the same wonderful thing happened when 
she waited npon the people of the hoose at meal- 
time, and when she dressed the hair of the girls, 
and when she twisted the threads of hemp, and 
when she went to kindle the fire in the fur- 

But saddest of all it was to see Terut^£Um^ 
hearing the water-buckets upon her shoulders, 
taking her way to the distant spring to draw 

And when she saw the reflection of her much- 
changed face in the water with which she filled 
her buckets, then indeed she wept very bitterly. 

But the sudden remembrance of the cruel Cho- 
bei filled her with exceeding fear, and urged her 
back in haste to her terrible abode. 

But soon the master of the joroya began to see 
that his new servant was no common woman, and 
to treat her with a great show of kindness. 


And now we shall tell what became of E[an^ 

The far-famed Tugyo Shonin, of the temple of 
Fujisawa in Kagami, who traveled constantly in 
Japan to preach the law of Buddha in all the 
provinces, chanced to be passing over the moor 

There he saw many crows and kites flitting 
about a grave. Drawing nearer, he wondered 
much to see a nameless thing, seemingly without 


arms or legs, moying between the pieces of a 
broken tombstone. 

Then he remembered the old tradition, that 
those who are put to death before having com- 
pleted the number of years allotted to them in 
this world reappear or revive in the form called 

And he thought that the shape before him must 
be one of those unhappy spirits: and the desire 
arose in his kindly Et 'to have the monster 
taken to the hot springs belonging to the temple 
of Kumano, and thereby enable it to return to its 
former human state. 

So he had a cart made for the gaJd-amij and 
he placed the nameless shape in it, and fastened 
to its breast a wooden tablet, inscribed with large 

And the words of the inscription were these: 
''Take pity upon this unfortunate being, and help 
it upon its journey to the hot springs of the tem- 
ple of Kumano. 

''Those who draw the cart even a little way, 
by pulling the rope attached to it, will be re- 
warded with very great good fortune. 

"To draw the cart even one step shall be equal 
in merit to feeding one thousand priests, and to 
draw it two steps shall be equal in merit to feed- 
ing ten thousand priests ; 

"And to draw it three steps shall be equal in 
merit to causing any dead relation — father, 
mother, or husband — to enter upon the way of 

Thus very soon travelers who traveled that 
way took pity on the formless one: some drew 


the cart several miles, and others were kind 
enough to draw it for many dajB together. 

And so, after much time, the goM-ami in its 
cart appeared hefore the joroya of Yorodzuja 
Chohei; and Kohagi of Hitachi, seeing it, was 
greatly moved hy the inscription. 

Then becoming suddenly desirous to draw the 
cart if even for one day only, and so to obtain 
for her dead husband the merit resulting from 
such work of mercy, she prayed her master to 
allow her three days' liberty that she might draw 
the cart. 

And she asked this for the sake of her parents; 
for she dared not speak of her husband, fearing 
the master might become very angry were he to 
learn the truth. 

Ch5bei at first refused, declaring in a harsh 
voice that since she had not obeyed his former 
commands, she should never be allowed to leave 
the house, even for a single hour. 

But Kohagi said to him: ''Lo, master! the 
hens go to their nests when the weather becomes 
cold, and the little birds hie to the deep forest. 
Even so do men in time of misfortune flee to the 
shelter of benevolence. 

'^Surely it is because you are known as a 
kindly man that the gakv-ami rested a while out- 
side the fence of this house. 

"Now I shall promise to give up even my life 
for my master and mistress in case of need, pro« 
viding you will only grant me three days' free- 
dom now." 

So at last the miserly Chobei was persuaded to 
grant the prayer; and his wife was glad to add 


even two days more to the time permitted. And 
Kohagi, thus freed for five days, was so rejoiced 
that she at once without delay commenced her 
horrible task. 

After having, with much hardship, passed 
through such places as Fuhanoseki, Musa, Bamba, 
Samegay^, Ono, and Suenaga-toge, she reached 
the famed town of Otsu, in the space of three 

There she knew that she would have to leave 
the cart, since it would take her two days to 
return thence to the province bf Mino. 

On her long way to Otsu, the only pleasing 
sights and sounds were the beautiful lUies grow- 
ing wild by the roadside, the voices of the hibari 
and shijugara ^ and all the birds of spring that 
sang in the trees, and the songs of the peasant 
girls who were planting the rice. 

But such sights and sounds could please her 
only a moment ; for most of them caused her to 
dream of other days, and gave her pain by mak- 
ing her recollect the hopeless condition into which 
she had now fallen. 

Though greatly wearied by the hard labor she 
had undertaken for three whole days, she would 
not go to an inn. She passed the last night be- 
side the nameless shape, which she would have to 
leave next day. 

''Often have I heard," she thought to herself, 
''that a gaTd-ami is a being belonging to the 

^ Hibarif a spedes of field lark ; shijugara, a land of tife* 



world of the dead. This one, then, should know 
something about my dead hnsband. 

''Oh that this gakl^mi had the sense either 
of hearing or of sight I Then I could qaestion it 
about Ean^uji, either by word of moath or in 

When day dawned above the neighboring misty 
mountains, Kohagi went away to get an inkstone 
and a brush; and she soon returned with these to 
the place where the cart was. 

llien, with the brush, she wrote, below the in- 
scription upon the wooden tablet attached to the 
breast of the gaM'Cmiiy these words : — 

''When you shall have recovered and are able 
to return to your province, pray call upon Kohagi 
of Hitachi, a servant of Yorodzuya Chobei of the 
town of Obaka in the province of Mine. 

"For it will give me much joy to see again 
the person for whose sake I obtained with diffi- 
culty five days' freedom, three of which I gave to 
drawing your cart as far as this place." 

Then she bade the gaJd-ami farewell, and hur- 
ried back upon her homeward way, although she 
found it very difficult thus to leave the cart alone. 


At last the gaki-ami was brought to the hot 
springs of the famed temple of Kumano Gongren, 
and, by the aid of those compassionate persons 
who pitied its state, was daily enabled to ezperi« 
ence the healing effects of the bath. 

After a single week the effects of the bath 
caused the eyes, nose, ears, and mouth to reap- 


pear; after fourteen days all the limbs had been 
fully re-formed ; 

And after one-and-twenty days the nameless 
shape was completely transformed into the real 
Oguri-Hangwan Kan^-uji, perfect and handsome 
as he had been in other years. 

When this marvelous change had been effected, 
Kan^-uji looked all about him, and wondered 
much when and how he had been brought to that 
strange place. 

But through the august influence of the god of 
Kumano things were so ordained that the revived 
prince could return safely to his home at Nijo in 
Kyoto, where his parents, the lord Kan^-i^ and 
his spouse, welcomed him with great joy. 

Then the august Emperor, hearing all that had 
happened, thought it a wonderful thing that any 
of his subjects, after having been dead three 
years, should have thus revived. 

And not only did he gladly pardon the fault 
for which the Hangwan had been banished, but 
further appointed him to be lord ruler of the 
three provinces, Hitachi, Sagami, and Mino. 


One day Oguri-Hangwan left his residence to 
make a journey of inspection through the pro- 
vinces of which he had been appointed ruler. 
And reaching Mino, he resolved to visit Kohagi 
of Hitachi, and to utter his thanks to her for her 
exceeding goodness. 

Therefore he lodged at the house of Yorodzuya, 
where he was conducted to the finest of idl the 


gaest-chambeny which was made beaatifol with 
screens of gold, with Chinese carpets, with Indian 
hang^ings, and with other precious things of great 

When the lord ordered Kohagi of Hitachi to 
be summoned to his presence, he was answered 
that she was only one of the lowest menials, and 
too dirty to appear before him. But he paid no 
heed to these words, only commanding that she 
should come at once, no matter how dirty she 
might be. 

Therefore, much against her will, Kohagi was 
obliged to appear before the lord, whom she at 
first beheld through a screen, and saw to be so 
much like the Hangwan that she was greatly 

Oguri then asked her to tell him her real 
name; but Kohagi refused, saying: '^If I may 
not serve my lord with wine, except on condition 
of telling my real name, then I can only leave 
the presence of my lord." 

But as she was about to go, the Hangwan 
called to her: '^Nay, stop a little while. I have 
a good reason to ask your name, because I am in 
truth that very gaki-ami whom you so kindly 
drew last year to Otsu in a cart." 

And with these words he produced the wooden 
tablet upon which Kohagi had written. 

Then she was greatly moved, and said: ^^I am 
very happy to see you thus recovered. And now 
I shall gladly tell you all my history; hoping 
only that you, my lord, will tell me something of 
that ghostly world from which you have come 
back, and in which my husband, alas ! now dwells. 


^I was bom (it hurts my heart to speak of 
former times!) the only daughter of Yokoyama 
Choja, who dwelt in the district of Soba, in the 
province of Sagami, and my name was Terut^ 

^'I remember too well, alas! having been 
wedded, three years ago, to a famous person of 
rank, whose name was Oguri-Hangwan Kand-uji, 
who used to live in the province of Hitachi. 
But my husband was poisoned by my father at 
the instigation of his own third son, Saburo. 

^'I myself was condemned by him to be 
drowned in the sea of Sagami. And I owe my 
present existence to the faithful servants of my 
father, Onio and Oniji." 

Then the lord Hangwan said, ''You see here 
before you, Terut^, your husband, Ean^-uji. Al- 
though killed together with my followers, I had 
been destined to live in this world many years 

''By the learned priest of Fujisawa temple I 
was saved, and, being provided with a cart, I was 
drawn by many kind persons to the hot springs 
of Eumano, where I was restored to my former 
health and shape. And now I have been ap- 
pointed lord ruler of the three provinces, and can 
have all things that I desire." 

Hearing this tale, Terut^ could scarcely believe 
it was not all a dream, and she wept for joy. 
Then she said: "Ah! since last I saw you, what 
hardships have I not passed through ! 

"For seven days and seven nights I was tossed 
abeut upon the sea in a canoe; then I was in a 


great danger in the bay of Nawoy^, and was 
saved by a kind man called Morakami Daya. 

''And after that I was sold and bought sot- 
enty-five times ; and the l|wt time I was brought 
here, where I have been made to suffer all kinds 
of hardship only because I refused to become a 
]<nd. That is why you now see me in so wretched 
a condition." 

Very angry was Kan^uji to hear of the cruel 
conduct of Uie inhuman Chdbei, and desired to 
kill him at once. 

But Terut^ besought her husband to spare the 
man's life, and so fulfilled the promise she had 
long before made to Chobei, — that she would 
give even her own life, if necessary, for her master 
and mistress, on condition of being allowed five 
days' freedom to draw the cart of the gaki-ami. 

And for this Chobei was really grateful ; and 
in compensation he presented the Hangwan with 
the hundred horses from his stables, and gave to 
Terut^ the thirty-six servants belonging to his 

And then Terut^-Him^, appropriately attired, 
went away with the Prince Kan^-uji; and they 
began their journey to Sagami with hearts full of 


This is the district of Soba, in the province of 
Sagami, the native land of Terut^: how many 
beautiful and how many sorrowful thoughts does 
it recall to their minds ! 

And here also are Yokoyama and his son, who 
killed Lord Oguri with poison. 


So Saboro, the third son, being led to the moor 
called Totsuka-no-hara, was there punished. 

But Yokoyama Choja, wicked as he had been, 
was not punished; because parents, however bad, 
must be for their children always like the sun 
and moon. And hearing this order, Yokoyama 
repented very greatly for that which he had done. 

Onio and Oniji, the brothers, were rewarded 
with many gifts for having saved the Princess 
Terut^ off the coast of Sagami. 

Thus those who were good prospered, and the 
bad were brought to destruction. 

Fortunate and happy, Oguri-Sama and Terut^ 
Him^ together returned to Miako, to dwell in the 
residence at Nijo, and their union was beautiful 
as the blossoming of spring. 

Fortunate ! Fortunate ! 



In autunm the deer are lured within reach of 
the hunters by the sounds of the flute, which re- 
semble the sounds of the voices of their mates, 
and so are killed. 

Almost in like manner, one of the five most 
beautiful girls in Yedo, whose comely faces 
charmed all the capital even as the spring-blos- 
soming of cherry-trees, cast away her life in the 
moment of blindness caused by love. 

^ Yafniia^ a seller of vegetables. 


When, haying done a foolish things she was 
brought before the mayor of the city of Tedo, 
that high official qnestioned the young criminal, 
asking: ^Are yon not 0-Shichi, die daughter of 
the yaaya f And being so young, how came you 
to commit such a dreadful crime as incendia- 

Then 0-Shichi, weeping and wringing her 
hands, made this answer: '^ Indeed, that is the 
only crime I ever committed; and I had no ex- 
traordinary reason for it but this : — 

^'Once before, when there had been a great fire, 
— so great a fire that nearly all Yedo was con- 
sumed, — our house also was burned down. And 
we three, — my parents and I, — knowing no 
otherwhere to go, took shelter in a Buddhist tem- 
ple, to remain there until our house could be 

'^Surely the destiny that draws two young per- 
sons to each other is hard to understand I . . . 
In that temple there was a young acolyte, and 
love grew up between us. 

"In secret we met together, and promised 
never to forsake each other; and we pledged 
ourselves to each other by sucking blood from 
small cuts we made in our little &igers, and by 
exchanging written vows that we should love each 
other forever. 

"Before our pillows had yet become fixed, ^ our 

^ This cnrions ezpresedon has its origin in the Japanese 
saying that lovers " exchange pillows." In the dark, the 
little Japanese wooden pillows might easily be exekanged 
by mistake. " While the pillows were yet not definite or 
fixed " would mean, therefore, while the two loyers were still 
in the habit of seeking each other secretly at night. 


new house in Hongo was bnilt and made ready 
for us. 

'^But from that day when I bade a sad fare- 
well to Kichiza-Sama, to whom I had pledged my- 
self for the time of two existences, never was 
my heart consoled by even one letter from the 

''Alone in my bed at night, I used to think 
and think, and at last in a dream there came to 
me the dreadful idea of setting fire to the house, 
as the only means of again being able to meet 
my beautiful lover. 

''Then, one evening, I got a bundle of dry 
rushes, and placed inside it some pieces of live 
charcoal, and I secretly put the bundle into a 
shed at the back of the house. 

"A fire broke out, and there was a great tu- 
mult, and I was arrested and brought here — oh I 
how dreadful it was! 

"I will never, never commit such a fault again. 
But whatever happen, oh, pray save . me, my Bu- 
gyo ! * Oh, pray take pity on me ! " 

Ah ! the simple apology ! . . . But what was 
her age ? Not twelve ? not thirteen ? not fourteen ? 
Fifteen comes after fourteen. Alas! she was fif- 
teen, and could not be saved ! 

Therefore 0-Shichi was sentenced according to 
the law. But first she was bound with strong 
cords, and was for seven days exposed to public 
view on the bridge called Nihonbashi. Ah! what 
a piteous sight it was ! 

Her aunts and cousins, even Bekurai and 

^ €K>yemor or local chief. The Bngyo of old days often 
acted as judge. 


Kakosak^ the lioiifle tervaiits, had often to wring 
their sleeves, so wet were their sleeves with tears. 
But, because the crime coold not be forgiven, 
0-Shichi was bound to four posts, and fuel was 
kindled, and the fire rose up! . • • And poor 
0-Shichi in the midst of that fire! . 

BvM so the vueetB ofgmnmerfiy to th^fijome. 

U . S • A 

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